Tanzania tackles FETO-run schools issue

 21 Jan 2017 - 11:53

Tanzania tackles FETO-run schools issue
Photo: AA.


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania: Tanzanian authorities have dealt with the issue of taking over Fetullah Terror Organization-linked (FETO) schools in the country, a Turkish diplomat has said.

"We have been informed that control of most of the FETO schools has been transferred to Tanzanian nationals," Yasemin Eralp, Turkish ambassador to Tanzania told Anadolu Agency, adding that FETO had 11 secondary schools and what it calls a business association in the East African country.

Eralp said the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the country could be a turning point in terms of the control transfer of the schools. She said interactions between the two countries were on the rise.

President Erdogan will first visit Tanzania on Jan. 22-23, followed by Mozambique on Jan. 23-24. He will then proceed to Madagascar on Jan. 24-25. 

As part of Erdogan’s official visits to Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mozambique, Turkish officials will meet with local officials to take action against FETO-run schools in those countries, Maarif Foundation Chairman Cem Zorlu told Anadolu Agency.

The Maarif Foundation was created in 2016 by the Turkish Education Ministry in order to provide education services in foreign countries.

According to Turkey’s government, FETO leader Fetullah Gulen -- a resident of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania -- masterminded the failed July 15 coup, which left at least 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

The terrorist group is also known for its network of hundreds of schools around the world. So far, over 80 FETO organizations operating abroad, including schools and training centers, have been shut down or transferred to the Turkish government.

- Tanzania, good business environment 

Eralp also pointed out that Tanzania was an important tourism center and that in recent years there has been a great increase in the number of Turkish tourists who visit the country. This has also been made possible due to Turkish Airlines' direct flights to the East African state.

"Political relations are very satisfactory. There is a common understanding in every domain between our countries," she said.

Tanzanians "want to benefit from Turkey's experience and knowledge," said Eralp, adding Tanzania was a peaceful country with a favorable environment for investment.

The Turkish embassy in Dar es Salaam first opened its doors in 1979. However, it was closed in 1984 due to budgetary constraints. It was re-opened on May 18 2009, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The trade volume between the two countries was $151 million in 2015.