Turkey to take over FETO-linked Afghan Turk schools

KABUL, Afghanistan-The Kabul government has officially initiated a two-week long process to hand over to Turkey sixteen Afghan Turk Schools linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, FETO.

Following the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey, Ankara asked Kabul as well as a number of other capitals around the world to hand over the network of schools in their countries linked to the coup plotter, FETO.

Afghan Deputy Education Minister Shafique Samim told a press conference late Saturday that Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani received a formal request from Turkey in this regard six months ago. He added Ghani was against closing down the schools, and instead approved a recommendation to hand them over to Turkey's Maarif (Education) Foundation.

The Maarif Foundation was established after July 2016 coup attempt to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO, which is behind the defeated coup.

An estimated 8,000 boys and girls are enrolled at some sixteen Afghan Turk schools located in major urban centers like the capital Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalal Abad and Sheberghan cities.

The previous management of these schools is against the handing over of these schools to the Turkish government. The Kabul government, however, believes this would help not only keep the schools running, but help them further improve.

According to Samim, the Maarif Foundation has pledged to invest up to $5 million to further lift the standard of the schools.

Mucip Uludag, Turkey's Maarif Coordinator in Afghanistan told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that the reformed Afghan Turk schools would offer the best quality education to Afghan students, including scholarship opportunities in Turkey.

He vowed the new management would adopt an inclusive policy to allow all Afghan children a chance to seek quality education, unlike the previous discriminatory policy of only enrolling children from the elite class.

Source: Anadolu Agency