Turkey is ready to cooperate with Zambia against the Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey, by assuming the running of formerly FETO-linked schools, Turkey’s labor and social security minister said Wednesday.
Speaking at a reception hosted by Zambia’s ambassador to Turkey in honor of Zambia’s 53rd Independence Day, Julide Sarieroglu said that Turkey is ready to work together with Zambian officials to clear her country of FETO infiltration.
“The transfer of FETO schools in Zambia to the Maarif Foundation will be the best solution to prevent the unjust treatment of students and local staff,” she said.
Turkey established the Maarif Foundation to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO.
It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.
Nineteen African countries have handed over FETO schools to Maarif or closed them at Ankara’s request.
Sarieroglu emphasized that the fight against FETO “continues with determination both inside and outside Turkey” for national and international peace and tranquility.
“Zambia, with its political and economic potential, is positioned between the important countries of the African continent,” she said.
“We take care that our friendly relations with Zambia and our bilateral business partnership is developing in every possible area,” she added.
Zambian Ambassador Bwalya Nondo also emphasized the importance of the two countries’ relations based on mutual respect and common interests.
“Zambia is grateful for the steady support that Turkey has provided in different areas through TIKA” — the Turkish state’s charity arm, the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency — and other institutions, he said.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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 also has a considerable international presence, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.