Venezuela handed two schools linked to Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the terrorist group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey, over to the Turkish state-backed Maarif Foundation on Friday.
The schools were transferred to the Maarif Foundation within the framework of an agreement inked between the Venezuelan education minister, Turkish envoy to Caracas and an executive from the foundation.
In a statement, the Turkish ambassador, Şevki Mütevellioğlu said that the relationship between Turkey and Venezuela has come to a historical point.
"I see this agreement as a huge success of the two countries. Turkey's Maarif Foundation will serve as an example for both Venezuela and other regional countries in Latin America with its accurate and high-quality education." Mütevellioğlu said.
Speaking on the projects that will be carried out between two countries, Mütevellioğlu said that the foundation will provide for both countries on recognizing one another and added that the students graduate from the foundation's schools will be a bridge between two countries.
Thanking the Venezuelan Government, Maarif Foundation Board Member Nedim Kayasaid, "Like in all other countries, our schools in Venezuela will operate with the principle of quality in education."
Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016, following the coup attempt, to assume control of FETÖ-linked schools abroad.
Since its establishment, the foundation has made official contact with 90 countries, appointing directors to 40 of them. It currently runs 162 schools in 12 countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia and Sudan. Some 94 FETÖ-linked schools, with more than 10,000 students, have been transferred to the Maarif Foundation with the help of the governments of the respective countries.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which killed 251 people and wounded nearly 2,200. FETÖ is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.