Turkey in talks with Uganda on closure of FETÖ

Turkey expects Uganda to take action against Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) -linked institutions and organizations in the country, but no concrete action has been taken regarding the group’s activities during discussions.

There are concerns that the Ugandan government is not moving fast enough to raise a red flag on all FETÖ activities in the country.

Although some FETÖ-linked infrastructure in Uganda has been unable to work, sources have shown that one of Uganda’s large private hospitals in Kampala, which has been in operation since 2019, is run by a FETÖ refugee who fled Turkey after the defeated coup and whose assets were frozen. in Turkey . Another smaller FETÖ-affiliated private hospital is said to be operating in Jinja, eastern Uganda.

Kassim Idd Balonde, head of Social Humanitarian Aid in Uganda, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that given the health and education challenges across Uganda, it is less likely that the government will quickly close its doors on infrastructures that try to close gaps.

“Almost half of the enrollments in schools take place in the private sector. What will you do with such a number if you close the schools? These are such requirements that provide a breeding ground for strategic investments that FETÖ made in the areas of education and health,” he says. sa.

Uganda’s Deputy Prime Minister Rukia Nakadama Isanga recently said that the government does not support FETÖ or other terrorist organizations that are destabilizing Turkey.

Adam Ssebyala, a political analyst, told AA that as long as FETÖ-affiliated institutions operate in Uganda or another country and indoctrinate children into a rebel ideology, such a country will risk rebellion.

Turkish Ambassador to Uganda Fikret Kerem Alp acknowledged that some FETÖ elements exist in Uganda and offer shameful services in education and health, but do not agree that the Ugandan government is slow to act on them, saying that it is a long process that takes time. .

“The Turkish government is continuing private discussions with the Ugandan authorities on FETÖ assets and providing alternatives to the Ugandan government on the existing infrastructure so that there is no vacuum left after FETÖ ceases to operate in Uganda,” he said.

Kerem said board members of the Turkish Maarif Foundation visited Uganda and held talks with the government on the transfer of FETÖ assets.

The Maarif Foundation is a Turkish authority set up to replace FETÖ-affiliated schools abroad in the wake of the defeated coup attempt in 2016. Since then, it has opened representative offices in 52 countries and operates in 67 countries as a result of official contacts with 104 countries around around the world in consultation with relevant ministries and other government institutions. It has also deciphered FETÖ’s education network and locked out the organization’s control over schools one by one through transfers, closures, nationalizations or sales to third countries.

Prior to the coup attempt on 15 July 2016, FETÖ had 63 educational institutions in Africa, 222 in Asia, 150 in Europe, 315 in South and North America and 10 in Oceania. Since then, it has taken over 216 schools in 19 countries, including Afghanistan, Chad, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the People’s Republic of the Congo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia , Venezuela and Iraq, which provide financial and human resources to the organization.

In addition to receiving FETÖ-related educational institutions, it has opened 126 new schools to create alternative schools in certain areas to meet the educational needs of citizens.

Maarif Foundation has opened 129 new schools in 26 countries, including USA, Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Djibouti, Gambia, Ghana, South Africa, Georgia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, Hungary, Madagascar, Northern Macedonia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tanzania and Tunisia.

It has also signed 79 different protocols in 45 countries for the transfer of FETÖ schools and the opening of new schools, while some countries have voluntarily closed them instead of handing them over.

FETÖ carried out the coup attempt shortly after the first ever presidential visit from Turkey to Uganda in 2016 and when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was preparing to host his Ugandan counterpart in Ankara.

The coup attempt was orchestrated and carried out by FETÖ and its US-based leader Fetullah Gülen, who had been involved in a fight with the Turkish government since 2013. Its supporters in the armed forces used deadly force against civilians: tanks rolled down city streets, fighter jets bombed parliament, the presidential complex, the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the Turkish Directorate-General for Security and tried to assassinate the president.

Civilians were shot down by soldiers on the Bosphorus Bridge during the coup, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded.


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