Accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) faces a backlash from families in Europe who are pulling their children from schools run by the cult.
In the Netherlands, some 320 students were removed from Gülenist-linked schools by their families after the putsch attempt in Turkey on July 15, while a large number of families are also taking their children from schools in Belgium run by Gülenists.
FETÖ operates a global network of schools and uses them as recruitment centers for the terror group. Many countries maintaining friendly ties with Turkey agreed to shut down those schools after the putsch attempt while they continue operating freely in Europe and the United States.
Dutch media reported that students at schools in Amsterdam, Zaandan, Rotterdam and other cities were dropping out of the schools and this number might increase in the coming days as more parents grow concerned over having their children at schools that are linked to terrorists.
The schools are primarily preferred by Turkish and Muslim families as Gülenists, which initially started out as a religious movement, were long viewed as members of a benign group.
Fatma Kasal, who lives in Zaandam, had her two children aged 5 and 10 at the IBS De Roos school run by Gülenists. She pulled them from the school after the putsch attempt and says other parents also share her concerns. She told Anadolu Agency that school administrators denied any ties to FETÖ but she personally witnessed how they played audio and video recordings of Fethullah Gülen's talks during parent-teacher meetings at the school.
Leyla Güzhan pulled her 8-year-old child from a Gülenist school in the Netherlands after the putsch attempt. "I was scared, concerned. I was scared because I didn't know whether my child learned the true intentions of Gülenists," she said, referring to the Gülenist plot to take over the state through its infiltrators within the army, police and judiciary. She received "a threatening letter" from the school administration and said the school would file a lawsuit against her after she pulled her child from the school.
Recently, Turkish families in Belgium have also started pulling their children out of schools linked to Gülenists.
Ramazan Kurt, who pulled his 17-year-old daughter from a Belgian school run by Gülenists, told Anadolu Agency, "Sending a child to those schools after July 15 would mean being a traitor."