A Turkish state-run education foundation has taken over schools in Chad that once belonged to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, ahead of an official visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkey’s Maarif Foundation took over the institutions in line with a protocol signed between the Turkish and Chadian governments on Sunday. Among these institutions are a kindergarten, a primary school, two secondary schools, two high schools, and a dormitory.
The institutions will continue operating with administrators and teachers sent by Maarif.
In a speech, Turkey’s Ambassador to Chad Erdal Sabri Ergen thanked the heads of Maarif. “These schools will greatly contribute to Chad’s education system,” he said
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Chad’s Education Minister Ahmad Khazali Acyl said that the school transfer was an important step in relations between the two counties.
On Sunday, Erdoğan said in Ankara ahead of his three-day visit to Sudan, Chad, and Tunisia that Turkey was determined to clear Africa of FETÖ, the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey.
Saying that FETÖ fooled people through “sham” education and aid services, Erdoğan added: “Many African countries, immediately after the coup attempt, deported FETÖ members and transferred the schools run by the group to our Maarif Foundation.”
The Maarif Foundation has recently assumed control of numerous schools previously run by FETÖ around the world, including 32 in Africa, according to Turkey’s National Education Ministry.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.