Burkina Faso is aware of the threat posed by Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and will likely hand over FETÖ-affiliated schools soon, Ahmet Asım Arar, Turkish ambassador to the country said yesterday.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Arar said that people have started to understand the FETÖ threat. The terrorist group runs two schools in Burkina Faso with more than 1,000 students.
"The school in capital Ouagadougou has more than 600 students, in the elementary, junior high and high school sections. In the country's economic capital, Bobo-Dioulasso there is a girl's schools with 300 students."
Arar said that after the July 15 coup attempt, the Turkish government requested the Burkina Faso government to hand over the schools. "I asked the Maarif Foundation to send representatives after Burkina Faso's foreign minister said that the presence of a permanent representative would help them better explain the transfer of the schools to the parents."
"Many parents ask what would happen to their children once the schools are handed over. So, it was necessary for the Maarif Foun
dation to have a presence here quickly," he said.
The ambassador said that after the coup attempt was defeated there was a decrease in the number of FETÖ members in Burkina Faso. He added that the authorities there were given detailed information on how dangerous FETÖ was.
"Burkina Faso officials are aware of the seriousness of the situation with respect to the FETÖ," the envoy s
aid, emphasizing that he believes Turkey will get a positive response in terms of handing over the schools.
"FETÖ is a major threat to any country it is in. Burkina Faso is also aware of the threat. It is now accepted by everyone. They had a lot of influence within the government before 2016. But Burkina Faso also faced a coup attempt at the end of 2015 and some of the government officials fled abroad. The FETÖ members were doing this to extend their time. So when the government was overthrown, FETÖ's influence was seriously decreased there," the Turkish envoy said.
Currently, the Maarif Foundation, which is responsible for Turkey's education activities abroad, as well as the Education Ministry and the Foreign Ministry are working to take control of FETÖ-linked schools in African countries and elsewhere.
Since its establishment, the foundation has made official contacts with 90 countries, appointed directors to 40 countries so far and currently runs 101 schools.
Some 12 countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia and Sudan, have handed over 94 FETÖ-controlled schools, with more than 10,000 students, to the Maarif Foundation.