Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager


Date posted: July 19, 2021

Ethiopia has illegally transferred a school run by German investors to Turkey’s state-run Maarif Foundation, Turkish Minute reported, citing the manager of the school.

Turkish authorities claim the school was affiliated with the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen.

Maarif, which was established prior to a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 through legislation in the Turkish parliament, has targeted the closure of Gülen-linked educational institutions since the abortive putsch as part of the foreign policy of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which labels the movement as a terrorist organization and accuses it of orchestrating the failed coup. Gülen and the members of his group strongly deny any involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

The school was run by the STEM Education Private Limited Company, founded by German investors in Addis Ababa. It is the second such school the Maarif Foundation has taken over in Ethiopia, after assuming control of another school in Harar in July 2019.

A letter from by Dr. Norbert Helmut Dinse, the general manager of the company, addressed to the German Embassy in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian prime minister and other federal and local authorities, was shared on Twitter by journalist Oktay Yaman.

“What has happened to our investment is odd for any listener,” Dinse wrote in English. “In a country with a strong system of the rule of law and hosting the Head Office of African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and many diplomatic communities, it is unbelievable that foreign investment can be taken forcefully without recourse Rule of Law.”

“Our Investment, STEM Education Plc. which operates in the trade name of ‘Intellectual
Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary School’, is wholly foreign-owned in Ethiopia engaged in educational services,” Dinse wrote, “Initially, the company was established by Turkish Investors. Through time, the three German investors acquired the investment following all procedures required under the law. German investors stepped in and took over the parent company again in full compliance with the requirements of the laws of the land.”

Dinse claims that the problems surrounding the school had started in September 2019 when the local authorities decided to close it.

“We have made every effort to get administrative remedies from different offices,” Dinse said.

“Fortunate enough, the Federal Ministry of Education understood our side, proved the legality of our status, and gave us a school license at the beginning of this academic year (2020-21). But a month later, the school’s commencement, Oromia and Sebeta Education Bureau came to the school with gunned police and expelled all the staff and children from the school Friday, January 29, 2021, while the teaching is going on.”

Dinse went on to say that a committee comprising the offices of the Ethiopian Attorney General, Ethiopia Investment Agency, ministers of education and foreign affairs and Oromia Education Bureau was formed to tackle the issue.

“Unfortunately, on July 14, 2021, staff from the Sebeta Education bureau and the Turkish staff of Maarif Foundation trespassed our compound and took photos and left out. Our Security Company could not stop them from the entrance. Today, the same people came, broke keys of our buildings, destroyed the security system and took all illegal actions,” Dinse said.

Turkish authorities claim the school was taken over after a legal battle that spanned several years.

“Official handover of the school will soon follow after the conclusion of the asset transfer,” Levent Şahin, the Maarif’s Ethiopia representative, told the Anadolu news agency.

“We strongly believe that our investment is well protected by the Ethiopian Investment Laws, International Investment Treaties adopted by Ethiopia and the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Ethiopia and Germany,” Dinse wrote, requesting “all concerned stakeholders to stop the outrageous conduct of Oromia and Sebeta Education Bureau and Maarif Foundation from illegally seizing our investment.”

According to Birol Akgün, chairman of the Maarif Foundation, they have taken over 216 schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in 44 countries.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP has jailed some 96,000 people while investigating a total of 622,646 and detaining 301,932 over alleged links to the movement as part of a massive purge launched under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, according to the latest official figures.

Source: Stockholm Center for Freedom , July 19, 2021


Related News

Russia selects finalists for 12th Turkish Olympiad

The elimination round of the Turkish Olympiad in Russia has been held in a prestigious concert hall where around 300 students showed their skills in the categories of poem recitation, singing, reading and writing.

Global Spying Network: Erdogan’s Worldwide Monitoring of Gülen Supporters

In his desire to convince the world that Gülen is a criminal, Erdogan has been demanding that the U.S. extradite Gülen for months. That also likely explains why the Turkish government is currently collecting information from all over the world. It needs incriminating evidence in order to substantiate the allegations against Gülen.

Senegal minister: Turkish schools’ students our hope for the future

Welcoming the students of the Yavuz Selim Education Institutions after their success in international competitions, Aly Ngouille Ndiaye, the industry and mines minister of Senegal, said the students of the Turkish schools are encouraging hope for the future of the country.

Rebecca Harms: Working in Gülen-linked educational institutions not a crime

Speaking during the general assembly of the European Parliament (EP) on Thursday, Harms said working in institutions such as schools or universities with links to the Gülen movement is not a crime and that, similarly, being critical of the government and being a critical journalist are not crimes.

Media and education challenge in Afghanistan

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 warning from and for a troubled land – how easily a democracy can be dismantled

Recently a messenger came to Colorado with dark warnings from a troubled land: Abdulhamit Bilici, the former editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkey’s go-to newspaper before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s brutal crackdown. You don’t often meet people like Abdulhamit Bilici in the United States. You almost can’t believe that someone with his backstory sits before you.

Latest News

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

Turkish-Kyrgyz educator’s abduction shows Ankara’s ruthless disregard for law: HRW

Kenya: Investigate Deportation of Turkish National

In Case You Missed It

Gülen won’t change his stand, urges followers’ patience

Turkish Cultural Night in Philippines

Gulen, Erdogan and democracy in Turkey

Gülen extends condolences for death of former deputy PM Arınç’s brother

How Christians conspired Christian murders in Turkey

UN-DESA 53rd Commission for Social Development

Prosecutor says he was blocked from investigating new graft probe

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News