Members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in Guinea, the first African country to hand over schools operated by the terror group, are accused of harassing the families of students via text messages, Selahattin Yazar, the Guinea coordinator of Turkish Maarif Foundation said. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Yazar said that the terror group disseminates false information by claiming "the schools to be closed" had been taken over by Maarif.
"Because of FETÖ's distortions, some families registered their students to other schools. It was revealed that FETÖ members claimed that the schools were being taken over over due to a 'political dispute' in Turkey and called parents, informing them not to send their children to these schools anymore. We corrected this negative perception by organizing meetings with parents," he said.
Guinea signed a deal with the Turkish Maarif Foundation in October 2016 to shut down FETÖ schools and hand them over to the institution, becoming one of the first African countries to take action against the terror group.
Yazar said that the schools were closed on Turkey's request and after an agreement with the Turkish government, education resumed on Oct. 20, adding that all FETÖ-linked personnel were deported from the country.
Emphasizing that the school year began with 100 students enrolled at the first stage, Yazar said some families removed their children from the schools after receiving FETÖ's messages, and Maarif refunded tuition money back to families who made payments before the schools had been taken over.
He added that Maarif kept his promise not to discharge any school personnel after the overhaul, saying that 148 personnel, including eight Turkish staff are serving in the schools that have 373 students.
A total of 16 African countries, including Senegal, Mauritania, Chad, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome, Guinea, Niger, Madagascar, Sudan, Djibouti, Rwanda and Somalia have signed agreements regarding the handover of FETO-linked schools. Negotiations with some other African countries continue.
The Maarif Foundation aims to be active around the world within five years and create educational mechanisms that represent a Turkish vision and promote the Turkish language.