Turkish families in Belgium have started pulling their children out of Gulen-linked schools following the July 15 defeated coup in Turkey, blamed on the Gülen terror-cult known as FETÖ.
The Kurt family, who live in Maasmechelen in the Belgian province of Limburg, said they worriedly watched news of the coup attempt on July 15.
"That night I felt so bad. If something happened to my homeland it would be like something happened to me. If my country is strong then I am strong. From that moment I knew that I wouldn't study again at Lucerna College," said Dilek Kurt, 17, a Turkish-Belgian girl.
"If my school supports FETÖ and if I stay there, it's a big mistake. So I left. My homeland is everything," she added.
Many Turkish people attend Gülen-linked schools because the Belgian system does not allow girls to wear headscarves in schools.
She also talks about the terror cult's involvement in influencing students in choosing universities.
"They wanted to send me to a university in Brussels because there were more dormitories. They would use me [there], I think," Dilek added.
Ramazan Kurt, 38, Dilek's father, said, "Sending a child to those schools after July 15 means being a traitor."
He added that even with the headscarf ban, he would rather his children go to a Belgian school. "At least [then] I'm not a traitor," he said.
'Get your children out'
Kurt called on other families to take action and pull their children out of Gülen-linked schools.
"Do not doubt in yourself. With God's will, our state is really strong. Get your children out of their schools. You will be the winner."
Kurt added that they need a school where headscarves are allowed and that the Turkish government should help with this.
Dilek's mother Ebru stated, "We stayed with the school because Belgian state schools forbid headscarves. But after July 15 we can't tolerate it any longer. We've decided that it would be better to remove the headscarves than be traitors. That's why we took our children out of the schools."
It is not only the Kurt family, but other Turkish families have also started taking their children out of Gülen-linked schools.
"We urgently need another school," Ebru said.
"I have another daughter. She will go to a school without a headscarf. We should not stay in these FETÖ schools," Ebru added.
She also called on the government to help the Turkish community with this.
"I believe the government would do it, but we will be happy if it is done as soon as possible," she said.
FETÖ has a number of educational institutions across the world, including in Belgium, which hosts over 12 Gülen-linked educational institutions.
Previously the schools would only admit students with high grades, but now the grades are no object. Meanwhile some schools are being closed due to a shortage of students.
Gulen is accused of carrying out a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Turkish government through the infiltration of state institutions-particularly the military, police, and judiciary-and the establishment of a parallel state.
At least 240 people were killed in a defeated July 15 coup in Turkey, which the government says was organized by Gülen's followers.
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