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Tanzania tackles schools run by movement accused of Turkish coup plot

January 21, 2017 at 12:00 am

Flag of Tanzania [Makanets/Youtube]

Tanzanian authorities have now dealt with the issue of taking over schools that were formerly operated by a group linked to a failed Turkish coup attempt last summer, a Turkish diplomat has said.”We have been informed that control of most of the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation schools has been transferred to Tanzanian nationals,” Yasemin Eralp, Turkish ambassador to Tanzania told Anadolu, referring to the Fethullah Gulen movement by using the Turkish government’s official name for the group.

Gulen is a cleric living in self-imposed exile in the United States, and has been accused by Ankara of orchestrating the failed putsch last July. Eralp said that the Gulen organisation had 11 secondary schools and a “business association” in the East African country, adding that the expected visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the country could have been a turning point in terms of the control transfer of the schools.

She said interactions between the two countries were on the rise.Erdogan will first visit Tanzania on 22-23 January, followed by Mozambique on 23-24 January.

He will then proceed to Madagascar on 24-25 January.As part of Erdogan’s official visits to Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mozambique, Turkish officials will meet with local officials to take action against the US-based cleric and his movement’s schools in those countries, Cem Zorlu, head of a charity called Maarif Foundation, told Anadolu.

The Gulen organisation is known for its network of hundreds of schools around the world.

So far, over 80 Gulen-linked organisations operating abroad, including schools and training centres, have been shut down or transferred to the control of the Turkish government.