Afghan authorities have drafted a deal giving the Turkish government control of more than a dozen schools in Afghanistan affiliated with the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. Western and Afghan officials believe the agreement is part of a bargain allowing Afghanistan’s vice-president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, who has been accused of abducting and torturing a political rival, to seek exile in Turkey.
Since the ill-intentioned Maarif Foundation was found by Erdoğan regime in wake of failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, just for aiming at taking over the successful schools operated by Turkish civic society, Gülen movement, the step has not been welcomed by the affected schools in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani has agreed to hand over the Afghan-Turk schools, previously run by a pro-Gulen institution, to the Turkish Education Foundation which is a governmental institution. This step has, however, not been welcomed by the affected schools. Officials of the schools have warned that the move would lead to closing the schools and damage the quality of education.
Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul hosted a conference entitled “Fethullah Gulen’s Perspectives on Combating Extremism in the Muslim World,” jointly organized by the local Tolerance and Dialogue Center and Baran-i Omid Publishing. Leading Afghan officials called attention to Gulen’s approach and education for an efficient and permanent solution to extremism.
The resurgence of violence, a stubbornly lingering narcotic-financing chain and growing economic difficulties in Afghanistan have put a damper on optimism for the future of the country, yet I believe hope is still strong among the resilient Afghan people and certainly there is no shortage of success stories that will keep them going.
A group of Afghan journalists who gathered in İstanbul on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the coverage of their country in Western media, saying they only show terrorism and violence, and the journalists argue that it is not the full picture of reality of Afghanistan.