The Turkish Ambassador-designate to Nigeria, Melih Ulueren has explained the underlining rationale behind the establishment of Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMF) in Nigeria.
Ulueren said that Turkey seeks to bring on stream Maarif Foundation in Nigeria with a view to confiscating FETO-operated schools and providing better and quality education for Nigerian students.
The envoy gave the explanation during a pre-press conference for the 2nd anniversary of the thwarted bloody coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which claimed the lives of 250 Turkish citizens.
According to him, Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) is present in more than 160 countries around the World, through schools, NGO’s, lobbyists, media outlets and companies.
The envoy said that Maarif Foundation, which was established in 2016, is aimed at assuming ownership of those schools operated by FETO in different countries of the world and not to have them shut down.
He said, “Turkey understands the needs of Nigerian students and their families. To prevent the closure of these schools, Turkish Maarif Foundation, a public foundation was established in 2016. The aim of Maarif Foundation is to assume the ownership of the schools but never to close them. Nigerian teachers will keep their jobs (with a probable reasonable increase in salaries). The Maarif Foundation so far took over the schools in a number of countries with a view to providing better education for students.
“Their actions in Turkey should be considered as a wake-up call for other countries. Through their educational efforts, they provide scholarships. Later, they specifically target these children whom they have provided with scholarships and indoctrinate them. Then, they encourage them to join the public service. The aim here is to infiltrate the public sector so as to influence the politics in line with their agenda.
In many regions, FETO schools and other entities have been closely inspected and put under state control. Investigations into FETO structures and FETO operatives are under way in many countries. Global crime apparatus of this organization is shrinking.
“This is an organization that has two tiers. The first layer is the legal and visible side. On appearance Fetullah Gulen leads a civil movement called “Hizmet”. On paper, “Hizmet” is a moderate, tolerant, non-violent and pro-dialogue social movement. The variety of associations in media, education, humanitarian work, banking and business associations etc. were established first in Turkey and later in different parts of the world.
“Under the guise of legitimate social service efforts, Gulen and his followers gained access to vast financial resources, human capital, political and social influence.
“Such vast wealth and influence have not been accumulated through legal conduct of business. It involved money laundering, bribing and operations through shady firms. It also involved destroying rivals through abusing state authority, which they acquired by infiltrating state structures, including the police, judiciary and finance.
“The Turkish Government rightfully takes necessary and proportionate measures to suppress and eventually defeat this imminent threat.”
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