Opening 90 schools in 19 countries in just one year, Turkey's Maarif Foundation has made sure that over 10,000 students are receiving an education.The head of the Maarif Foundation, professor Birol Akgün, said they want to represent Turkey's cultural and civilizational richness in the international arena via the nonprofit schools, which have already spread across five continents.
"Our ultimate goal is raising good people. We do not have a secret agenda. We are working in transparency," he said.
The Maarif Foundation, the only institution authorized to open schools abroad on behalf of the Turkish state, was established to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) after last year's failed coup masterminded by the group's U.S.-based leader, Fetullah Gülen.
Apart from the schools that were taken over from the terror group, the Maarif Foundation also establishes schools and education centers abroad. Akgün said the institution provides education in study centers and cultural centers at all levels ranging from pre-school to higher education. He added that sport complexes, laboratories and libraries are also established by the foundation when needed.
The Maarif Foundation, so far, has opened schools and provides education in the U.S., Afghanistan, Albania, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Congo, Kosovo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra-Leone, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia. It has opened seven schools in two countries in the Balkans, 65 schools in 11 countries in Africa and nine schools in three countries in the Asia-Pacific region.