Fate of Pak-Turk Schools: Erdogan, Jamaat-e-Islami-backed Maa’rif Foundation?


Date posted: December 12, 2016

ISLAMABAD: As the litigation continues over the fate of nearly 450 Turkish nationals, the Nawaz government is determined to go a step further i.e. hand over the school to Maa’rif Foundation, a recently formed body with a mission to push Erdogan’s political agenda.

Taking a page from the Turkish leader’s playbook, the government has already amended the companies’ ordinance in November while the parliament was in session.


At the heart of the matter is the question of Maa’rif’s credentials to take over the schools instead of its Pakistani management. Turkey is least known for its standard of education. Moreover, the Erdogan-backed organisation is neither experienced in the education field nor apolitical. The organisation is already scared with allegation of child sexually abuse in Turkey.


One of its amended clause of its section 42 reads, “The commission may at any time by order in writing, revoke a licence granted under sub-section (1) with such direction as it may fit on being satisfied that the company has acted against the interest, sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan, the security of the state and friendly relations with foreign states.” The addition of the clause in the amended law aims at including Pak-Turk School on the behest of Erdogan’s assertion of its organisers being part of anti-state activities.

The other addition in the amended law has implications for future management of the Pak-Turk Schools. In the section titled ‘effects of revocation of licence’, it states, “All the assets of the company after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities in a manner, as may be specified, be transferred to another company licensed under section 42, preferably having similar or identical objectives to those of the company, within 90 days from the revocation of the licence or such extended period as may be allowed by the commission.”


Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami, being a sister organisation of Erdogan’s AKP aspires to chip in running the schools once the control is granted through an executive order by the state.


Erdogan enacted similar laws in Turkey for the state-sponsored AKP-affiliated organisations to take over institutions belonging to charities he did not like. On top of them, all has been Gulen Movement, which the government names as Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO).

Maa’rif Foundation has already sent 28 personnel to Pakistan who are currently learning English at the National University of Modern Languages. The men are claiming to be the future principals of Pak-Turk School which are far from being official taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood-funded and inspired organisation.


Parents have feared that the Maa’rif Foundation will have the backing of Ankara and will use the institution for cultivating support amongst youth and the teachers for the Muslim Brotherhood.


The slips between cup and lips for Maa’rif are multiple. First of all, the schools’ management moved the Islamabad High Court in September against likely forcible takeover. The government assured the bench that no such plan was there in the shelf. The matter remains sub judice, thus exempting it from backdoor channels of involuntary reshuffles in its board of directors or amendment in the Companies Act through ordinances.

At the heart of the matter is the question of Maa’rif’s credentials to take over the schools instead of its Pakistani management. Turkey is least known for its standard of education. Moreover, the Erdogan-backed organisation is neither experienced in the education field nor apolitical. The question of funding has been funded by certain countries in the Arabian Gulf region, besides some contribution from the Islamic Development Bank.


Contrary to the outgoing Turkish staff, the so-called principals rests at the beginner level when it comes to proficiency of English language. The majority of their predecessors could converse in fluent Urdu, besides English while being well-versed with cultural sensitivities here. The Pak-Turk staff were inspired to impart education while the forthcoming ones are being sent by the state as employees-cum-political activists.


Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami, being a sister organisation of Erdogan’s AKP aspires to chip in running the schools once the control is granted through an executive order by the state.

Parents have feared that the Maa’rif Foundation will have the backing of Ankara and will use the institution for cultivating support amongst youth and the teachers for the Muslim Brotherhood.

What happens if the government changes in Ankara and the necessary political and financial support for the schools is withdrawn? Will the 12,000 or more children look for alternate institutions?

Pakistan’s standard of education is far better than Turkey whereby the current system should be allowed to function smoothly. The organisation is already scared with allegation of child sexually abuse in Turkey, where the national press abundantly covered the issue. However, the government looked the other way.

Contrary to the outgoing Turkish staff, the so-called principals rests at the beginner level when it comes to proficiency of English language. The majority of their predecessors could converse in fluent Urdu, besides English while being well-versed with cultural sensitivities here. The Pak-Turk staff were inspired to impart education while the forthcoming ones are being sent by the state as employees-cum-political activists.

Jamaat-e-Islami, the AKP’s affiliate in Pakistan, has no track record of establishing successful educational institution in a competitive environment. The JI’s-supported management rings the fear of children being driven to its student arm, Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba. After two decades, the country’s educational institutions have been freed from the grip of IJT. The government is setting a dangerous precedent by dishing out established institutions to a political party.

While over 100 Turkish teachers fight their legal battle in the courts, the schools can smoothly function under the Pakistani management. After all, partly Pakistani philanthropists alongside the Gulen-minded Turkish citizens funded the schools.

Source: Daily Times , December 12, 2016


Related News

455 water wells opened in Pakistan thanks to Kimse Yok Mu

Kimse Yok Mu which operates in many parts of the world with humanitarian aid projects launched a project in 2012 for 1, 3 million people in some cities of Pakistan. Large numbers of philanthropists from Turkey participated in the campaign and 455 water wells were dug in the country in two years.

Astana says Gulen-linked schools to remain

The Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan said in a statement on July 30 that the Turkish schools linked to Fetullah Gülen, who allegedly led failed coup attempt in Turkey according to the President Erdogan, will remain on the territory of the Central Asian nation. The statement followed the Friday warning of Turkey’s ambassador to Kazakhstan.

Conceptual contradictions when it comes to rhetoric about ‘parallel state’

.In the wake of the Dec. 17 corruption operations that took place in Turkey, the government removed and changed such an extraordinarily high number of people from their positions in the police force, the justice system and the national education structure that these changes certainly would not have been possible in a state of law. An attempt was made to see these changes happen within the framework of heavy propaganda about the concept of the existence of a “parallel state.”

‘When the last gang becomes a thing of the past’

The prime minister has put forward many claims since Dec. 17, but he has not provided any satisfactory evidence to back up these claims.

Are Gülen’s remarks on talks with PKK really surprising?

ABDÜLHAMİT BİLİCİ When he said, “Peace is in itself goodness, and peace brings happiness,” Fethullah Gülen, a well-respected Turkish Islamic scholar, made a deep impact on the public debate revolving around the new peace process which started with the negotiations between the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan, who […]

The Turkish Connection: Pak-Turk Schools

The network of [Pak-Turk] of schools came under the media scanner last month, after the Turkish government demanded that Pakistan close down the entire network following the failed army coup to overthrow Turkish President Erdogan. Since then, Erdogan has ordered a ruthless purge and arrest of anyone even suspected of having links with his political rival, Fethullah Gülen, whom Erdogan holds responsible for the coup attempt.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish school shows EU already chose Turkey

Italian professor: Fethullah Gulen is a true lover of the Prophet

Secular Pakistanis resist Turkey’s ‘authoritarian’ demands

Fethullah Gulen among TIME’s “World’s 100 Most Influential People” for 2013

Volunteer teachers saddened by efforts to close Turkish schools

Gülen discounts neither past nor modernity

Hizmet unmasks ‘undemocratic’ Erdogan

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News