Kyrgyzstan Rebuffs Turkish Takeover of Gulen Schools


Date posted: September 17, 2018

Kyrgyz officials tell Ankara’s ambassador not to meddle and deny reports Gulen followers may soon be deported.

Turkey’s attempt to have 13 suspected followers of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen deported from Kyrgyzstan is meeting opposition in Bishkek.

During Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Kyrgyzstan in early September, the Turkish delegation handed Kyrgyz authorities a list of 130 suspected Gulen followers and demanded the extradition of 13 people, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

Ankara accuses Gulen followers of fomenting the failed 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Gulen-affiliated groups run hundreds of private schools in more than 100 countries, offering a curriculum heavy on science and technology mixed with Turkish studies. Erdogan’s AKP party, once on friendly terms with Gulen, accuses him of running a “dark state” aimed at seizing control of Turkey.

Media reports about the supposed transfer of the 130 people on the list to Turkey are not true, local news site 24.kg cites the head of the Foreign Ministry’s information department, Muratbek Azymbakiyev, as saying.

Azymbakiyev also denied Turkish Ambassador Cengiz Kamil Firat’s statement that a Turkish government foundation would be taking over several schools previously run by a Gulen-affiliated group, Eurasianet.org reports.

Kyrgyz authorities “rebranded” the schools in 2016 under Turkish pressure after the coup attempt, Eurasianet writes, adding that these Sapat schools, as they are now known, are among the best in the country.

The Foreign Ministry told Firat Tuesday that “at present all Sapat schools function in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic in full compliance with the current legislation of the republic” and that their transfer to the Turkish Maarif Foundation “is out of [the] question,” 24.kg quotes Azymbakiyev as saying.

Under Erdogan, who since his re-election in June wields expanded powers acquired through a referendum last year, Turkey has used its political and economic sway to close down many Gulen schools located abroad and to have his followers deported to Turkey.

Turkey has brought home more than 100 Gulenist “traitors” since the failed coup, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN’s Turkish channel in July, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported. According to Anadolu, Gulen and his organization “orchestrated” the attempt to overthrow Erdogan’s government, in which some 250 people died and more than 2,000 were injured.

  • Ankara’s anti-Gulen campaign began well before the coup attempt. Close ally Azerbaijan began evicting Gulenists from schools in 2014, Eurasianet notes. Turkmenistan has also taken action against Gulenists.
  • Moldova deported the director and six staff members of a Gulenist school to Turkey on 6 September. Unconfirmed news reports said Moldova’s security service cooperated with Turkey’s National Intelligence Directorate in the operation, Turkish pro-government Daily Sabah reported.
  • A similar raid on Gulenist educators in Kosovo last March brought an angry reaction from Kosovo’s leadership. Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj reportedly said the six Turkish nationals “were not deported, they were stolen,” and President Hashim Thaci fired the interior minister and intelligence chief over the issue, Haaretz writes.
  • According to an  Anadolu report referenced by the Stockholm Center for Freedom, the Maarif Foundation has taken over 76 schools affiliated with the Gulen movement in Africa and has recently opened 32 new schools in 11 countries from the United States to Afghanistan.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

Source: Transitions Online , September 13, 2018


Related News

Erdogan’s False Promises To Africa

The main issue Erdogan raises with his African counterparts is not improving economic and political relations, but the closure of the Gulen movement schools or their transfer to the Turkish Maarif Foundation, which was established solely for this purpose. Mr. Erdogan seems to be using official development assistances and “other financial tools” as carrots to convince African leaders.

Japanese students assist Syrian refugees in Turkey

A group of Japanese university students and professors recently came to Turkey to provide educational assistance to Syrian refugees, according to Turkish news sources on Tuesday. The volunteer group, which came to Turkey through the agency of charity Kimse Yok Mu, consisted of 15 students and professors from Meiji Gakuin University.

Foreign journalists baffled by gov’t decision to shut down prep schools

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, İSTANBUL Representatives of foreign media outlets in İstanbul had a difficult time on Tuesday understanding the rationale behind the government’s decision to close private prep schools across Turkey. The Journalists’ and Writers Foundation’s (GYV) Medialog Platform’s 26th meeting of the “Covering Turkey” seminar series held in İstanbul on Tuesday addressed a highly debated […]

Kimse Yok Mu holds iftar dinner for Thai Muslims

Kimse Yok Mu Foundation held yet another iftar dinner for Thai Muslims as a part of its Ramadan activities. Ramadan is different in Thailand from Turkey. Families choose to break their fast together with others at the mosques rather than doing it alone at home.

Police rescue 8 students, staff of Nigeria-Turkish International School from kidnappers

‘The pupils and staffs of Nigeria Turkish international school kidnapped on Friday 13th January have all been rescued unhurt this evening. Details later,” the police said Tuesday.

Water well for 10 thousand Pakistani with the money from cattle milk

A philanthropist woman from Kocaeli (a province in northwest Turkey), Siyade Yilmaz, has financed a water well, in memory of her father, at the service of 10 thousand in Daraban town of Tehsil Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan District in Pakistan. In her statements, Yilmaz said they had been previously able to go to hajj […]

Latest News

Crimes Against Humanity in Erdogan’s Turkey

Exiled journalist warns of a genocide in the making in newly released book

Vague terrorism charge used to target supporters of the Gülen movement: UN special rapporteurs

ECtHR urges Albania not to deport Gülen follower to Turkey

Woman detained over links to Gülen movement after giving birth

Formerly Gülen-linked schools in Albania face growing gov’t pressure

Exclusive: Turkey, Kosovo violated fundamental rights of expelled teachers, UN body says

Sacked policeman’s grim death sparks debate on COVID-19 data in Turkish prisons

Dissidents of the Turkish government are living in fear in Canada

In Case You Missed It

Palauan President: We would like to participate in Turkish Language Olympics

Fethullah Gülen’s teachings discussed at conference in Algeria

I am a teacher, not a terrorist

Peace Islands Honors Noteworthy NJ Residents

President Ellen Commends Turkish School for Commitment to Pursuing Quality Education

Erdogan regime keeps defamation of the Gülen mov’t, calls it crusader organization

Dialogue and Friendship Dinner in Portland, Oregon

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News