Maarif Foundation takes over Turkish school
The premier boarding school on the outskirts of Harar, The Rainbow Association, which was started by the Fetullah Organization and its controversial founder, Fetullah Gulen, was taken-over by Maarif Foundation of the Turkish Public Education system on Wednesday.
Known to have been the architect of a coup in that took place in 2016, in Turkey; the Fetullah Organization and its leader, now under a request for extradition by Turkey from the United States, has seen a slew of backlashes. Turkey describes it as an “armed terrorist group,” that uses its various schools as a fundraising tool for its now banned activities in Turkey.
“The Turkey Maarif is now operational in many nations within Africa, having 127 schools across the continent,” Cihad Demirli (PhD), a member of the Board of Trustees of Maarif Foundation told The Reporter. “We have had a constant contact within the Ethiopian federal and regional governments for the takeover of this school and Maarif Foundation is the only entity that represents the Turkish government (in Ethiopia).”
The decision to transfer the school to the Maarif Foundation by Ethiopia was the highlight of the discussions held between the former Ethiopian President Teshome Mulatu (PhD) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during the 2nd annual Africa – Turkey Economic and Business Forum held in Istanbul last year.
Sources told The Reporter that they feared the takeover would turn violent. However, there were no violence reported, as the takeover happened in front of armed police officers.
“The takeover was needed as a way to punish the terrorist organization for the illegal coup that took place in 2016 since they are using these schools as a cover for multiple terrorism activities,” Cihad added.
The school will be renamed, the International Maarif school of Ethiopia.