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Afghan-Turk schools handed over to Turkish govt

Afghan-Turk schools handed over to Turkish govt

Feb 26, 2018 - 19:21

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Turkish government on Monday took over schools and tuition centers linked to the Fethullah Gulen movement in Afghanistan.

The handover comes after a Dec 12, 2017 raid by National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces on an Afghan-Turk school in Kabul, arresting four teachers, including one Afghan in Shah-i-Doshamshira area of Kabul.

The three teachers were released after being held in detention for seven days. The raid was allegedly part of the Turkish government witch-hunt on followers of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in July 2016.

The management of Afghan-Turk schools in Afghanistan was handed over from Afghan-Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE), the organization that runs the schools, to the Turkish government at a ceremony here.

At the ceremony, acting education minister Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari, and İsmet Yılmaz, Turkish education minister, signed an agreement.

Shinwari said a high level commission comprised of representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs, justice and education, the National Security Council and NDS had decided that the Afghan-Turk schools would operate in the framework of Turkey’s education ministry, before the agreement was signed.

He asked Afghan families not to worry about the education process in Afghan-Turk schools and said the quality of education in these schools would further improve and the Ministry of Education would regularly supervise them.

Turkey education minister, İsmet Yılmaz, said that the handover of management affairs of the Afghan-Turk schools had been requested by the Turkish government.

“Those who want to damage the long-running friendship between Afghanistan and Turkey would be expelled from these schools,” he said.

“The friendship of Afghanistan and Turkey is between the two nations and it is permanent, a prosperous Afghanistan is our priority, we want to extend our cooperation in all areas, particularly in the education sector,” he said.

He said Afghan families should not worry about education in Afghan-Turk schools and the education quality would improve compared to the past.

Yılmaz said the Afghan-Turk schools provided free education to a number of war-affected children and children with disabilities and offered higher education facilities to a 10 percent of students.

On the other hand, Kabir Haqmal, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said that Afghan teachers at Afghan-Turk schools would continue their duties, but the fate of Turkish teachers remained unknown.

He said $5 million would be spent in the first phase and 20$ million in the second phase for improvement of education quality at Afghan-Turk schools.