Five schools run by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Sudan, which were taken over by Turkish authorities, were reopened yesterday. Sudanese officials joined Turkish officials from the Maarif Foundation, which will run the schools, for an opening ceremony.Sudan seized two primary schools, two high schools and a nursery school operated by FETÖ in the capital Khartoum, as well as another school in Nyala, last year and handed them over to the Maarif Foundation which is linked to Turkey's Ministry of Education. Currently, 1,564 students attend the schools, which were renovated by Maarif after the handover.
The foundation, which is responsible for Turkey's education activities abroad in coordination with the Education Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry, is running operations to take over FETÖ-linked schools in African countries. Since its establishment, the foundation has made official contact with 90 countries, appointed directors to 40 countries so far and currently runs 101 schools. In a total of 12 countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia and Sudan, 94 schools with more than 10,000 students have been transferred to the Maarif Foundation from FETÖ schools with the help of the governments of those countries.Turkey has asked several countries to shut down dozens of schools, colleges and businesses linked to the FETÖ network in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt blamed on the terrorist group's infiltrators in the military.
The terrorist group is also known to operate hundreds of schools under the auspices of its network around the world. For decades, it disguised itself as a charity movement with religious undertones, opening schools, charities and companies in numerous countries where the children of the elite were enrolled, thus extending its international clout, said prosecutors investigating the international network.FETÖ members enjoyed safe haven in most countries they operated in before the 2016 coup attempt, but Turkey's diplomatic efforts after the putsch bid have paid off with most countries agreeing to cooperate with Ankara in a crackdown on the terrorists.