All the schools in Senegal linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, have been closed, with three placed under a new Turkish administration, thanks to good relations between the two nations, according to Ankara.
Speaking to reporters in Senegal’s capital Dakar, Turkish Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said economic and political ties between Turkey and Senegal were improving.
“The recent good relations between Turkey and Senegal dealt a big blow to FETO-linked schools in the West African country. All [FETO] schools in Senegal have been closed,” he said.
Arslan said that out of 12 FETO schools with 2,500 students, Turkey’s Maarif (Education) Foundation (TMV) took over three of the shuttered schools, with nine others to follow once legal procedures were completed.
“Those three schools will start accepting students. However, as it is mid-term now, they expect fewer students. They will have more students by January, that is, in the second term,” Arslan said.
The Maarif Foundation was established after the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.
To date, it has taken over dozens of FETO-linked schools in the African countries of Somalia, Guinea, Niger, Sudan, and the People’s Republic of Congo.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
FETO also has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.