Turkey, Education

Turkey's Maarif takes over 2nd FETO-linked school in Ethiopia

Assets of 4 other FETO schools will soon be frozen as part of legal battle to take over all schools

Ibrahim Tigli, Tufan Aktas and Addis Getachew   | 15.07.2021
Turkey's Maarif takes over 2nd FETO-linked school in Ethiopia


The Turkish Maarif Foundation on Thursday assumed the full administration of a school previously run by the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Ethiopia’s Oromia state after years of legal battle.

"Official handover of the school will soon follow after the conclusion of asset transfer," Levent Sahin, Maarif representative in Ethiopia, told Anadolu Agency.

The recently acquired school in Sebata town is the second school in Ethiopia after the Turkish Maarif Foundation took over a FETO-run school in Harar on July 2019.

Sahin also said a legal battle is underway to take control of four other schools in the capital Addis Ababa and soon the bank accounts and assets of the FETO-run schools would be frozen with a court order.

Federal and state attorney generals are investigating FETO companies in the country and they are accused of terror and money laundering, he said.

Sahin added: "After the investigation, state attorney generals decided to suspend education licenses of the Stem company belonging the terror organization. We want to see that this will be an example for the other schools."​​​​​​​

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.

After the coup bid, Turkey established the Maarif Foundation to assume the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.

FETO has a considerable presence abroad, including private schools which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group.

Visit to school in Sebeta

Earlier Maarif officials accompanied by officials of the local administration visited the school in Sebata.

Cihad Demirli, a board member of Turkish Maarif Foundation, told Anadolu Agency that they are very happy to take over the school on the anniversary of the defeated coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Demirli said, "The schools in Alamgena were handed over after an investigation into FETO companies. We are expecting to get all the FETO schools after this decision."

He hailed the Oromia state officials and parents as “they played a big role in this success”.

The education will start in in September after technological and infrastructure needs are met in the schools.

Alemu Eteecha, head of the Sebeta town education bureau, told Anadolu Agency that the Maarif takeover of the school is a welcome event.

"We will provide Maarif with every necessary support," he said as the school was expected to resume teaching during the coming academic year.

"We expect Maarif also to offer services to the local communities," he said, adding the former owners were engaged in illicit activities.

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