Turkey is waging a multifaceted and serious struggle against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) at home. As for the struggle with the group abroad, there are many things to be done in the areas of law, diplomacy and economy. However, the top priority is the field of education that legitimizes this structure in the eyes of states and societies. President Recep Tayip Erdoğan consistently requests the ending of FETÖ's educational activities under the name of "Turkish schools" in more than 170 countries and reiterates the issue in all his overseas visits. Although some countries have taken positive steps and closed FETÖ-linked schools, most of these schools are still under the group's control.
After the July 15 coup attempt, the matter became more important for other countries and Turkey began to tell them more clearly about the extent of the danger. Moreover, an alternative educational institution named the Maarif Foundation was established. Erdoğan mentioned three objectives of the foundation, saying, "They say they are present in 170 countries. You will be present in 193 U.N. member countries. Attach priority to countries where FETÖ is prevalent and influential. Do not allow FETÖ's schools to be called Turkish schools." Erdoğan also referred to the Maarif Foundation at the Turkish-African Economy and Business Forum a couple of days ago, saying, "We will try our best to avoid the victimization of our children and families."
Headed by Professor Birol Akgün, the foundation is an important initiative and first step. However, it is not easy to wage an international fight against FETÖ, which is supported by global powers. Therefore, the business world, foundations and private schools must become a part of the efforts. This is because, until the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) was founded, FETÖ transferred funds to its overseas schools through the chambers of industry and commerce. I will write on this later. Now, both these structures and private institutions, which succeed in the education field, must be introduced in parallel with the Maarif Foundation.
The state must take advantage of the experiences of these institutions and encourage education foundations and educators to eliminate this problem. It must attach priority to Africa as one of the important regions in the world that is open to development in the medium term. Educators must be willing and ambitious to the same extent as the state boosts educational services. Since it would be hard for the state to satisfy educational requirements on its own, the private sector must contribute and give support to education. In sum, as Akgün says, foundations and educators need the support of the nation and state in order to spread it around the world like a dervish.