The Afghan government has officially initiated a two-week long process to hand over to Turkey sixteen Afghan-Turk schools linked to the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
Following the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey, Ankara asked Kabul as well as a number of other capitals around the world to hand over the network of schools in their countries linked to the coup plotter, FETÖ.
Afghan Deputy Education Minister Shafique Samim told a press conference late Saturday that Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani received a formal request from Turkey in this regard six months ago. He added Ghani was against closing down the schools, and instead approved a recommendation to hand them over to Turkey's Maarif (Education) Foundation.
The Maarif Foundation was established after July 2016 coup attempt to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETÖ, which is behind the defeated coup.
An estimated 8,000 boys and girls are enrolled at some sixteen Afghan-Turk schools located in major urban centers like the capital Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalal Abad and Sheberghan cities.
The previous management of these schools is against the handing over of these schools to the Turkish government. The Kabul government, however, believes this would help not only keep the schools running, but help them further improve.
According to Samim, the Maarif Foundation has pledged to invest up to $5 million to further lift the standard of the schools.
Mucip Uludağ, Turkey's Maarif Coordinator in Afghanistan said on Sunday that the reformed Afghan-Turk schools would offer the best quality education to Afghan students, including scholarship opportunities in Turkey.
He vowed the new management would adopt an inclusive policy to allow all Afghan children a chance to seek quality education, unlike the previous discriminatory policy of only enrolling children from the elite class.
Several countries, including Pakistan and African countries such as Senegal, Guinea, alread took the decision to transfer FETÖ-linked schools to Maarif's foundation.
Ankara holds FETÖ coup plotters responsible for the July 15 coup attempt last year that left 248 people dead and over 2,000 wounded.
FETÖ runs an extensive network of schools and institutions across several countries scattered around the world , which, according to Turkey, have a hidden agenda of infiltrating state institutions and gaining influence over state authorities.
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