Turkey, World

Turkey takes over FETO-linked schools in Pakistan

After capital Islamabad and Lahore, Maarif Foundation takes control of schools in commercial hub Karachi

Turkey takes over FETO-linked schools in Pakistan

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan

Teachers and students warmly welcomed a delegation of Turkey's Maarif Foundation that took control of three schools on Wednesday linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the southern port city of Karachi.

The handing-over ceremony was held at the main branch of Pak-Turk Maarif International Schools and Colleges -- formerly known as Pak-Turk schools -- in Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighborhood of the city.

Mahmud Ozdil, board member of the Maarif Foundation and an official of the government of southern Sindh province of which Karachi is the capital, signed the documents which marked the official handing over of the schools.

Selahattin Batur, country director of the foundation, Syed Israr Ali, senior director of Pak-Turk Maarif International Schools and Colleges, and others also attended the ceremony.

Two students presented bouquets to the foundation members.

Earlier, the delegation along with Turkish Consul General Tolga Ucak met Sindh Home Secretary Qazi Kabir at the latter's office. The consul general and the foundation members thanked the provincial government of Sindh for handing over the schools.

The foundation has already taken control of FETO-linked schools in capital Islamabad and the second-largest city Lahore.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the government to declare FETO a terror group and to ban its affiliated schools in the country.

Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 after a coup attempt to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 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.

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

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