Turkish authorities continue to be in talks with many countries around the world to take over Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) linked schools. The latest talks include discussions with Ugandan officials over transferring the management of both FETÖ-linked schools and hospitals in the country to Turkey, diplomatic sources have said.
"The Ugandan government says the transfer of the establishments should be done within legal means," Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Kerem Alp told Anadolu Agency (AA) Sunday.
"We have informed the authorities that some schools and hospitals in Uganda have links to FETÖ," he said in the capital Kampala.
Alp said he has held meetings with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the attorney general and other officials about the FETÖ threat.
He hopes that the Ugandan government will cooperate on the issue so that the schools are transferred to the Turkish state-backed Maarif Foundation, a Turkish group created to manage former FETÖ-run schools and open new schools.
After the 2016 defeated coup, Turkey established the foundation to take charge of FETÖ's overseas schools. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.
The group is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish government through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, judiciary and academia.
FETÖ also operates many schools abroad, which work as a revenue stream for its terrorist and infiltration activities.
Meanwhile, The state-backed Maarif Foundation is currently educating 30,000 students in 35 different countries around the world.
"We provide education to around 30,000 students in 270 schools in 35 countries," said Maarif Foundation chair Birol Akgün last month.
Akgün added that they have opened 71 new schools in 16 countries, to provide schooling in strategically important areas and satisfy the education needs of the Turkish diaspora. He informed the press that since the foundation's establishment three years ago, they have established ties with 100 countries.
Further moves to eliminate FETÖ in Ethiopia
Meanwhile, Turkish Ambassador to Ethiopia Yaprak Alp has said that the efforts aimed at getting Turkish schools back from the control of those linked to the FETÖ was on the rise.
The envoy also emphasized that Turkey was against all attempts to unlawfully change elected governments, referring specifically to the June 22 coup attempt in Ethiopia.
Briefing reporters to mark the third anniversary of the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey, Alp said that in a significant breakthrough, a school linked to the FETÖ in Ethiopia was handed over to the Maarif Foundation last week.
"With the hard work of our missions abroad and the Maarif Foundation, we are gaining traction and are getting concrete results," said the ambassador. "For instance, as a significant breakthrough in Ethiopia, a school linked to the FETÖ was handed over to the Maarif Foundation last week in Harar," she added.
She said the school governed by the Maarif Foundation will prove beneficial for Ethiopia and the people of Harar in the eastern part of the country. She said it will also contribute to further improving relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and Turkey.
"I hope in line with our excellent cooperation and mutual understanding with Ethiopian officials, other schools linked to FETÖ will be handed over to the Maarif Foundation soon," she said.
Alp empathized with Ethiopian people, who witnessed a coup attempt on Jun 22, when a militia unit attacked the police headquarters, the president's office and the ruling party headquarters, in a bid to overthrow the government in Ethiopia's Amhara region. "Turkey is against all attempts to unlawfully change the elected governments and we stand by the Ethiopian government in the aftermath of this coup attempt," she said.