On the fifth anniversary of the brutal coup attempt by military infiltrators belonging to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), a Turkish diocese gained control of a school in Ethiopia, formerly run by the terrorist group, which has an international network of schools.
The Turkish Maarif Foundation on Thursday adopted the full administration of the state of Oromia after a legal battle that stretched over years. “The official handover of the school will be followed soon after the transfer of assets is completed,” Levent Şahin, the foundation’s representative for Ethiopia, told Anadolu Agency (AA). The recently acquired school in the city of Sebata is the second FETÖ-run school Maarif Foundation has taken over in Ethiopia, after taking control of another school in Harar in July 2019.
Şahin added that legal proceedings are under way to take control of four other schools in the capital Addis Ababa and soon bank accounts and the assets of the FETÖ-powered facilities will be frozen by a court decision. Federal and Attorney General are investigating FETÖ companies in the country, he said, noting that they are accused of terrorism and money laundering. “After the investigation, the Advocates General decided to suspend training licenses for the Stem company belonging to the terrorist organization. We want to see that this will be an example for the other schools,” Şahin added.
Following FETÖ’s coup attempt on 15 July 2016, Turkey founded the Maarif Foundation to take over the management of schools linked to the group abroad. The foundation also establishes schools and training centers abroad.
FETÖ has a significant presence abroad, including private schools that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.
Earlier, Maarif officials along with local administration officials visited the school in Sebata. Cihad Demirli, a board member of the Turkish Maarif Foundation, told AA that they are very happy to take over the school on the anniversary of the coup attempt, recognized in Turkey as National Unity and Democracy Day. “The schools in Alamgena were handed over after an investigation by FETÖ companies. We expect to get all FETO schools after this decision,” Demirli said. He hailed Oromia government officials and parents as “they played a major role in this success.”
Teaching begins in September when the schools’ technical needs and infrastructure needs are met. Alemu Eteecha, head of the education agency Sebeta, told AA that Maarif’s takeover of the school is a welcome development. “We will provide Maarif with all the necessary support,” he said, given that the school is expected to resume teaching in the coming school year. “We expect Maarif to also provide services to local communities,” he said, stressing that the previous owners were involved in illegal activities.