Turkish foundation pledges quality education in Senegal
The Turkish Maarif Foundation has expressed its commitment to provide quality education in Senegal via new management of schools once linked to the group blamed for last year's coup attempt in Turkey.
"We will jointly set up a quality education that will strive to best meet everyone's expectations," said Mahmut Mustafa Ozdil, a board member of the foundation, late Thursday.
He made the comments at a press conference held at the residence of Turkey's ambassador to Senegal, Nilgun Erdem Ari, focusing on the Maarif Foundation's activities in Senegal, including the decision to assume the management of schools once linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Ozdil underlined that the foundation plans to start managing the schools next school year. "The conditions are there so that we can offer our entire range extending from preschool to higher education," he pledged.
Last December, the government of Senegal decided to change the management of Yavuz Selim schools following the July 15 failed coup in Turkey, which martyred 250 people and injured thousands, and which the government blames FETO for.
Reassuring parents fearful of school closures, Ozdil said: "There has been a lot of misinformation … There has never been any question of closure. It is a continuity under the supervision of the foundation."
"Our priority is to provide quality services," he added.
For her part, Ambassador Ari said: "The two heads of state have agreed to transfer the management of schools. Turkey has great experience in the field of education and intends to share its experience with its partners."
Ari also promised to keep the Senegalese teachers working in the institutions as well as hire new ones.
According to the Turkish government, FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, and of infiltrating similar institutions in other countries.