Turkey is ready to cooperate with Zambia against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to prevent unjust treatment of students and local staff, Labor and Social Security Minister Jülide Sarıeroğlu said Wednesday.
"The transfer of FETÖ schools in Zambia to the Maarif Foundation will be the best solution to prevent the unjust treatment of students and local staff," Sarıeroğlu said at a reception hosted by Zambia's ambassador to Ankara in honor of the 53rd anniversary of Zambia's independence.
The Maarif Foundation was established to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to the terrorist group after last year's failed coup attempt by FETÖ. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad. Nineteen African countries have so far handed over FETÖ schools to Maarif or closed them at Ankara's request.
Sarıeroğlu emphasized that the fight against FETÖ "continues with determination both inside and outside Turkey" for national and international peace and tranquility. "Zambia, with its political and economic potential, is positioned between the important countries of the African continent," she said.
Zambian Ambassador Bwalya Lyapa Nondo also spoke of the importance of the two countries' relations based on mutual respect and common interests. "Zambia is grateful for the steady support that Turkey has provided in different areas through TİKA" – the state's Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency – and other institutions, he said.
On July 15, 2016, a military junta linked to FETÖ, which is led by the U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, attempted to topple the government and impose martial law. It was thwarted by troops loyal to the government along with police and millions of civilians marching in favor of democracy. Soldiers involved in the coup attempt killed 249 people, mostly civilians, and more than 2,200 people were injured.