By John Okeke
Turkey is no way relenting over its efforts in taking over schools and other establishments linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ) by Turkish Maarif Foundation in Nigeria.
The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ahmet Melih Ulueren made the country’s intention during the country’s commemoration of 4th anniversary of the thwarted coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Speaking about how his country has prioritized the fight against FETO in the last four years and the defeat of the terrorist organisation, the envoy said that they would continue to call on other countries, where FETO has strong presence to stamp out Fetullah Gulen organisation.
He said, “Turkish Maarif Foundation is a non-proﬁt organization founded by a Law enacted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in June 2016.
“By the Law, TMF is the sole entity able to carry out educational activities abroad on behalf of the Republic of Turkey.
“TMF provide formal and non-formal education by opening and taking over educational institutions on the basis of common accumulation and values of humanity.
“As a result of the official contacts established with 100 countries in consultation with the relevant ministries and other state institutions within the framework of the priorities determined in line with the Strategic Plan, representative offices have been established in 52 countries and education activities are conducted in 60 countries.
“FETÖ affiliated schools and education centres in 38 countries were closed down or taken over by the relevant country. In 20 of these, the affiliated schools and education centres have been transferred to the ‘Turkish Maarif Foundation’. Also, ‘Turkish Maarif Foundation’ has opened schools in 22 countries.”
Revealing how FETO amassed funds to execute the failed coup that claimed over 250 lives in Turkey, Ulueren said, “As the organization became more affluent, it started meddling in business transactions and government tender processes. Laundering enormous sums of money, arranging illegal transfers of cash and other financial crimes became business as usual.
“The FETÖ members infiltrating critical state posts abused their power to eliminate who opposed the organization, by illegal wiretapping, fabricating evidence, unlawful arrests, thereby intimidating and blackmailing a large segment of the society including politicians, businessmen, journalists, even athletes and artists among many.
“As the Turkish Government understood what was actually in place, the necessary legal actions were taken against FETÖ. Turkish judicial authorities rendered numerous conviction decisions against members of this crime syndicate due to its various criminal acts. Thousands of investigations and prosecutions concerning the illegal activities of FETÖ members are still pending. The ongoing and finalised investigations, prosecutions and trials yielded that Fetullah Gülen is the administrator and ringleader of FETÖ armed terrorist organisation and that he gave the order to stage the coup.”
The envoy warned Nigeria and other countries to be wary of the activities of the organization .
“We therefore continue to warn our friends, including in Nigeria, against this structure and thus we are satisfied with the rising awareness against this group as a consequence of our efforts. In this regard, we have been carried out approximately 16.000 initiatives at various levels to inform our foreign partners regarding the malicious of FETÖ affiliated entities and individuals.”
“As one of the concrete results of these official initiatives, several international organizations have adopted vital resolutions regarding FETÖ. Moreover, countries that have investigated and monitored this group have often found out that they are involved in an extensive list of crimes such as money laundering, intimidation, bribery etc.,” he said.