Afghan security forces recently assumed control of a high school linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the terrorist group behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. The Afghan government handed over the school to the Turkish state-backed Maarif Foundation. Security forces took over the school in western Afghanistan's Herat, despite confrontation from some local students, a local Afghan official said. Herat Governorate spokesperson Jailani Farhad told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the operation was carried out in order to hand over the school to Afghan authorities and then to the Maarif Foundation.
The school was transferred to the Maarif Foundation, within the framework of an education deal between the two countries, the foundation's Afghanistan Country Director Mucip Uludağ said. As part of the deal, the foundation also took control of two more schools and two dormitories in the northern Jawzjan province, Uludağ added.
"Let nobody worry about this: We will educate our Afghan brothers with a more qualified and modern education system," he said. Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016, following the coup attempt, to assume control of FETÖ-linked schools abroad.
Since its establishment, the foundation has made official contact with 90 countries, appointing directors to 40 of them. It currently runs 162 schools in 12 countries, including Niger, Chad, Somalia and Sudan. Some 94 FETÖ-linked schools, with more than 10,000 students, have been transferred to the Maarif Foundation with the help of the governments of the respective countries.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which killed 251 people and wounded nearly 2,200. FETÖ is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.