Turkey calls 50 countries to close Gülenist schools

Published 28.07.2016 00:18

Schools, which are known as the primary recruitment grounds for the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), are under scrutiny in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt linked to the Gülenists. The ruling Justice and Development Party's foreign affairs branch in coordination with the Foreign Ministry will send letters to senior officials in 50 countries to brief them about the illegal activities of Gülenists and urge them to close schools run by "terrorist" Gülenists.Letters, accompanied by photos of the coup attempt, will be delivered to countries via Turkish embassies, and their main message is that the schools are used to brainwash children to become recruits for FETÖ. Countries on friendly terms with Turkey have already offered to shut down the schools after the coup attempt, the most violent act by FETÖ, which was involved in two previous attempts to seize power in Turkey.

The Gülen Movement started out as a religious group before evolving into a powerful politically charged entity and later, experts say, into a terrorist organization that depends on education to both advance its ideology as well as swell its funds. The movement runs a global network of schools in African countries, Central Asia and the United States.

Cambodian officials have recently announced that they could close down the schools in the Asian country run by Gülenists after Turkey files a formal request, while Somalia was one of the first countries to suspend a school run by Gülenists and expel Gülenist staff following the coup attempt.

FETÖ, designated a national threat and terrorist organization, is accused of a long list of crimes, the latest being the July 15 coup attempt. Gülenists already face jail for the illegal wiretapping of thousands of people, sham trials to imprison critics of the Gülen Movement, money laundering, blackmail, extortion and forgery through infiltrators in the police, judiciary, bureaucracy and military.

Turkey has already begun the process of shutting down hundreds of schools and other institutions administered by the Gülen Movement in the wake of last week's failed coup. The country has also suspended more than 21,738 teachers amid the nationwide investigation into FETÖ.

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