The head of a Turkish education foundation said some countries including Canada, Germany and the Netherlands exerted pressure on Muslim migrants to enroll their children in schools operated by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Maarif Foundation President Professor Birol Akgün said the terrorist group lobbied in those countries to have migrant children enrolled in those schools.
"Turkish families removed their children from FETÖ-linked schools but these schools now see attendance by children of Muslim diaspora. For instance, in Europe, children of Syrian, Middle Eastern and African migrants are directed to those schools," Akgün said in an interview. The Maarif Foundation was established after the July 2016 coup attempt in order to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETÖ, which is accused of being behind the foiled coup that left 249 people.
The terrorist group, which disguised itself as a religious charity before its first two coup attempts through its infiltrators in law enforcement in 2013, controls a worldwide network of schools and charities.
Akgün says they are negotiating the handover of FETÖ-linked schools in 60 countries to Maarif.
"We also plan to open new schools in those countries. In one year since the establishment, we handed over 20 schools in 20 countries. In Somalia, Niger and Guinea, 207 students graduated from those schools this year," he noted.
He said that other countries' view of Turkey changed after the April referendum for constitutional changes.
"They have more confidence in Turkey and they see FETÖ in a different light now," Akgün added.
Still, there is a long way to go for the complete transfer of FETÖ schools to the control of state-sponsored foundation.
"They have some 700 [schools] across the world and 150 of them alone are in the United States. We would need roughly 3,500 teachers to staff these schools," he said.
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