African countries see the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) as a threat to their internal security and have started taking action against the organization, officials have indicated. Turkey has warned African countries against FETÖ, which is responsible for the attempted coup last year that killed at least 248 people and wounded around 2,200 others.
"Many countries have started taking action against the organization. We started initiatives to get the African Union to put FETÖ on their terror list," Hasan Yavuz, the deputy chairman of Turkey's Maarif (Education) Foundation told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Last year, Turkey created the Maarif Foundation to establish schools and education centers abroad.
Yavuz said the goal was not only to take over the FETÖ-linked schools but to open new ones, especially on the African continent. FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, has been running hundreds of schools, charity foundations and nongovernmental organizations globally. The government has launched widespread initiatives worldwide to shut down such institutions or take control of them.
The Maarif Foundation has already signed many agreements to transfer FETÖ-linked schools to the foundation in many African countries, including Guinea, Niger and Somalia, he said.
Yavuz said countries such as Angola, Gambia and Morocco have closed the schools because they saw FETÖ as a "threat to their internal security."
"FETO is trying to make propaganda against Turkey in these countries," he said. "Maarif's schools will be bridges between Turkey and Africa."
Yavuz also said in the future his organization will work alongside organizations such as the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency Presidency (TİKA) as well as the Yunus Emre Institute.
He added that the foundation has the authority to open an educational institution from the pre-school to the university level. "Our foundation is going to open primary, secondary and higher education institutions [...] and will endeavor to educate people in an ethical, honest and successful manner [...] to serve their own countries first."
"It is important to remember that in Africa each country is acting according to its internal dynamics," he said.
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