Turkey’s Hard Power Turn: Handing Hizmet Schools to the Turkey Maarif Foundation

This paper summarizes and analyses how Turkey has extended its mission to close down Hizmet schools in African and European countries via the public-private entity known as the Maarif Foundation



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Some articles referenced in this report show a certain political bias and propaganda by referring to the Gulen movement as the ‘Fetullah Terrorist Organization’ (FETO).

It is important to note that the Turkish government adopted this label as a scapegoating mechanism to pin the 15th July 2016 failed coup attempt upon the Gulen movement and its members. This label sought to create a narrative the Gulen movement had the sole aim of overthrowing the government; however, the reality is that the movement and the schools are facing persecution by a government threatened by legal charges and scandals, one that relied on scapegoating innocent lives and families.



During his time in Turkey in the 1960s and ’70s, Fetullah Gulen was a well-renowned Imam who preached that English-taught education builds morality and character as much as, if not more, than modesty, altruism, and hard work. He emphasized that education was essential for Turkey’s emergence into the globalized era.[i] In furtherance of this ideology, the Gulen movement of the 1980s was aided by funding from the so-called conservative ‘Anatolian tigers’ to create schools that would carry out such education founded upon, but not formally linked to, the principles espoused by Gulen. These schools were referred to globally as Hizmet schools. ‘Hizmet’ indicated that the schools taught about light, philosophy, reflection, dialogue, and tolerance.[ii] The schools were first formed voluntarily by business people within Turkey and staffed by educators seeking to engage in humanitarian work and charity. They soon expanded to various locations abroad in the ‘90s, including North America, Central Asia, Europe, Australia, and especially Africa. [iii] More often than not, these schools were the first informal instance of Turkey establishing economic, cultural, and political links with foreign governments.

Although the Turkish government initially tacitly supported these schools, this became more complicated after the Presidential Crisis of 2007. As a result of this crisis, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) secured control of the country’s political handle, forming an administration wary of leaving too much control over national and foreign affairs in the hands of external, private actors within and outside of Turkey.[iv] In a series of talks with the co-founder and executive director of the Centre for Hizmet Studies, Dr. Ismail M. Sezgin outlined how the government’s perception of the schools changed over time. It initially saw advantages in associating with the schools because the Gulen movement’s credibility was well-received by the Turkish population. But this perception changed as the Gulen movement became increasingly critical of the government amid changing political dynamics reflected in the 2012 elections.[v] This election round targeted then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, resulting in corruption charges, a departure from Western ideals of democracy, and halted plans to join the European Union (EU). The Gulen movement condemned the government during this time, leading the government to reevaluate its perception of the movement. Dr. Sezgin explains that when more corruption charges emerged in 2014, Gulen became a real threat, prompting Erdogan to actively oppose Gulen. Ultimately, this political realignment resulted in the government’s attempt to blame the failed coup attempt on 15th July 2016 on the so-called ‘Fetullah Terrorist Organization’ (FETO) as a ploy to forcefully rebrand the Gulen movement as a threat to society.[vi]

The failed coup gave Erdogan what he has referred to as ‘a gift from God’ that allowed the AKP to conduct a witch-hunt-style attack on Hizmet schools. This inquisition began in Turkey, with many members facing human rights abuses and even imprisonment, but quickly spread internationally as the government called upon foreign governments to close the schools, especially those based in Africa.[vii] Such an attack obviously detrimentally impacted students who gained a high-quality and valuable education from the Hizmet schools. In many impoverished locations, the schools raised the standard of education and living. Nonetheless, in an attempt to quash the Gulen movement, the Turkish government created the pseudo-entity known as the ‘Maarif Foundation’ just weeks before the failed coup and equipped it with a mixture of public-private authority to either close or replace Hizmet schools.[viii]

The next section of this report shall briefly analyse the function of the Maarif Foundation, followed by a section commenting on the chronological takeover of Hizmet schools in Belarus, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, and Guinea by the Foundation. Then, the report will analyse Turkey’s shift from a soft power stance of economic diplomacy towards a harder form of power that risks transferring the consequences of Turkey’s domestic politics to other states. Lastly, the final section will conclude with some brief observations and recommendations.


On 17th June 2016, the then prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, announced the implementation of the law numbered 6721 that founded the Maarif Foundation, ‘Maarif’ meaning ‘education’ or ‘instruction’. President Erdogan and his government appointed its 12 members: 4 chosen by the President, three by the cabinet, and the rest by the ministries of education, foreign affairs, and the economy in conjunction with the Higher Education Council.[ix] The Foundation was granted the powers:

“to provide scholarships, schools, education and facilities such as schools, education institutions, and dormitories, to provide them with scholarships in all the processes of education, from pre-school to university education in order to develop and develop education and distribution services, only to be able to afford the institutions that can take part in institutions, the Turkish Maarif Foundation, which is in central Istanbul to conduct scientific research and research, develop and develop methods and carry out the activities of the country in which it operates, to carry out the activities of the country.”[x]


These terms of reference indicate that the Foundation is a government entity, receiving its budget and directives from public officials. It was distinguished from other foundations by its additional capacity to perform its functions abroad “by founding or taking over companies possessing private law legal entity,” which falls clearly within the remit of the status held by Hizmet schools founded abroad.[xi] The true, underlying intention of the Foundation started soon after the failed coup a month later, when Erdogan requested that the Foundation “be in 193 countries (…) [and] prioritise countries where FETO is more effective and known. Do not let the FETO schools be called ‘Turkish schools’”.[xii] To a certain extent, this demonstrates that Turkey continues to rely on private and semi-public actors abroad that had established and maintained relations with other states in the past, as noted above with the Gulen movement.


The primary barrier to the Foundation’s attempts to expropriate the physical property of Hizmet schools is the fact that domestic authorities must first agree to dispossess these schools to the Foundation, often leading to grueling and time-consuming trials in court, as recently seen in Ethiopia.[xiii] Despite facing resistance in its attempts to convince other countries to close down Hizmet schools or hand over the facilities, the Turkish government has achieved the most success in Africa by using what can be called the ‘stick approach’. In this approach, Turkey uses “sticks,” or hard power, rather than “carrots,” or soft power, to threaten a country’s socio-economic progress and infrastructural projects via economic and investment pressure. Dipama & Dal (2019) discuss Turkey’s use of the stick approach, describing how Turkey can exploit its links with particular African states through business, import, export, and foreign direct investment to its own benefit.[xiv] The next section will focus on the relationship between the Foundation and these select African countries before comparing the Foundation’s success in Belarus and mainland Europe.




One of the first African countries to acquiesce to the Turkish government’s demands was Gabon. Public officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the vice president of the Maarif Foundation, Hasan Yavuz, to cede three Hizmet schools to the Foundation, consisting of a total of 200 students.[xv] Chad also acquiesced to transfer Hizmet schools, but the extent of the takeover was only documented later in 2017 when a kindergarten, primary schools, dormitory, and secondary schools were expropriated and transferred to the Maarif Foundation for management ahead of a visit by President Erdogan.[xvi] The Education Minister of Chad at the time, Ahmad Khazali Acyl, considered it a step forward in Chadian-Turkish relations. From an outside, objective perspective, however, this can also be considered further erasure of Gulen’s influence in Africa to advance Erdogan’s agenda, which has painted the Hizmet schools as a ‘sham’ quality of education. It is important to note that “[m]any African countries, immediately after the coup attempt, deported [Hizmet] members and transferred the schools run by the group to our Maarif Foundation.”[xvii]

During 2017, the Maarif Foundation made significant headway in Africa, particularly in Guinea-Conakry, Djibouti, and Burundi. A total of 10 schools in the capital of Guinea were transferred to the Foundation following a three-month-long process of public authorities canceling Hizmet licenses to teach and own the private facilities. Once the Foundation took over former Hizmet schools, they were frequently remodeled with new names linked to political martyrs allegedly killed by supposed Gulenists during the coup attempt. [xviii]  Turkish officials officially inaugurated the schools at events that mimicked the humanitarian and charitable functions of the former Hizmet owners. Likewise, Joel Nkurabagaya, the then Burundian ambassador to Turkey, stated in 2017 that Burundi was working towards allowing the Foundation to open its own schools following the transfer of numerous Hizmet schools. These developments were precipitated by Hasan Yuvuz’s visit to Burundi in May 2017, ostensibly to discuss education but during which Burundian and Turkish officials introduced other political and economic interests. For example, during Yuvuz’s visit, the President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, requested that Turkish Airlines open direct flights to Burundi.[xix] Similarly, Djibouti transferred a facility to the Foundation to use as a kindergarten and elementary school. It was additionally one of the first countries in Africa to grant the Foundation a 5-hectare plot of land to build its own Maarif educational institution. This trend would later take shape across Africa.[xx]

By January 2018, the Foundation had signed agreements with a total of 26 African states, with 16 having transferred schools over to the Foundation, consisting of nearly 9,000 students under the influence of President Erdogan’s Islamist ideology and political agenda.[xxi] These states were joined by Equatorial Guinea in September 2018, when Sebnem Cenk, Turkey’s ambassador in Malabo, and Fabiola Angono Miko, the deputy minister of Youth and Sports and Foreign Ministry, agreed to transfer a Hizmet school based in the capital, Malabo, to the Foundation under the new name of ‘Maarif Malabo College’.[xxii] In early 2019, the Foundation also managed to gain the cooperation of the Cameroonian government to close down and transfer Hizmet schools. The re-opening ceremony was attended by numerous distinguished officials from Cameroon and Turkey, with the Turkish ambassador to the country, Ayşe Saraç, commenting that:

“Cameroon supported our country and became our friend and ally in our struggle with [Hizmet]. Maarif Schools are more and more active in the international arena and have achieved significant successes. The Turkish Maarif Foundation will open new schools in Cameroon in the coming period. We keep following and supporting all works carried out in this regard.”[xxiii]

One of the most critical battlegrounds in taking over Hizmet schools can clearly be seen with respect to Ethiopia. This dynamic started in mid-2019 when the first Hizmet school, located in Harar, was expropriated and transferred to the Foundation, which met three years of legal challenges before attaining a second school located in Sebata Town.[xxiv] These legal challenges were prolonged by an investigation conducted by Ethiopian federal and state attorneys into terrorism and money laundering at the school that the Maarif Foundation was attempting to acquire. According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom in 2021, the STEM Education Private Limited Company, composed of several German investors based in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, owned the school.[xxv] The manager of the school, Dr. Norbert Helmut Dinse, explained that the school was foreign-owned within the educational sector of Ethiopia and that:

“Initially, the company was established by Turkish Investors. Through time, the three German investors acquired the investment following all procedures required under the law. German investors stepped in and took over the parent company again in full compliance with the requirements of the laws of the land.”[xxvi]

At first, it seemed that the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia would support the Hizmet school and its STEM owners due to the legitimate proof of its status as a privately owned school, even approving its school license for the 2020-2021 academic year. However, this changed after the Oromia and Sebata Education Bureau and several armed police officers trespassed onto school grounds, illegally installing the Turkish staff of the Maarif Foundation to begin teaching at the school instead.[xxvii] A representative of the Foundation, Levent Sahin, stated that “[a]fter the investigation, state attorney generals decided to suspend education licenses of the Stem company belonging to the terror organization. We want to see that this will be an example for the other schools.” By mid-August 2021, the Foundation took control of eleven more schools formerly run by Hizmet in Ethiopia, consisting of 2,000 students. Although staff and students mounted additional legal obstacles to stop these acquisitions, the Foundation utilized sympathetic parent-teacher associations to quash these legal attempts and sway educational bureaucracy in its favor.[xxviii]

At the moment of writing, there is a lack of credible information about the single institution that was either transferred or opened in Belarus. Nonetheless, this development occurred shortly after the opening of two schools in Bucharest, Romania, and Elbasan, Albania, in late 2019. Both replaced the Hizmet schools that existed in the respective countries.[xxix]



By March 2021, the Maarif foundation had taken control of 216 Hizmet schools in 44 countries, stating that it had signed a further 77 protocols to oversee the management of schools in 45 other countries.[xxx] Over half of the remaining schools managed by Hizmet staff are located in the U.S. and Europe, the former hosting a total of 312 schools, four universities, and 155 charter schools, with the largest facilities in the federal states of Texas, Ohio, California, and Florida.[xxxi] The rapid activity with which the Foundation has attained control over Hizmet schools poses many risks on various levels: for the children and their parents, for the domestic societies within which the Maarif schools operate, and at a bilateral level between Turkey and the host countries.

Toguslu (2017) explained these risks firstly at a bilateral level, correctly foreseeing that once the diplomatic tensions of 2016 and 2017 died down, African countries had paved the way for Turkey’s hard power capabilities to expand further into Africa by using the schools as an extension, as seen in Senegal.[xxxii] On the surface, the Foundation wants countries to believe that the quality of education and facilities offered at Maarif schools are of a higher standard and that the Foundation will discontinue the so-called maligned or flawed education previously offered in Hizmet schools. This superficial presentation is evident from the Secondary Education Minister of Cameroon, Nalova Lyonga, statement that:

“students will learn French and English as well as Turkish, and will develop a different culture and the habit of living together. We give importance to the different languages as part of culture and welcome the Turkish education with joy. I believe that Turkish culture will add a lot to us.”[xxxiii]

At a deeper level, the reality is that Turkey is using the Maarif Foundation to expand its political influence. This trend is evident from past behaviour, namely the export of Turkish teachers and imams to Europe to gather intelligence on diaspora communities and ensure that the diaspora follows the directives and ideology of the AKP party.[xxxiv] Akgun & Ozkan (2020) have also reported on the Foundation’s aspirations to move beyond the educational field and make a larger contribution towards Turkey’s foreign policy and diplomatic relations via the educational sector.[xxxv]

Furthermore, there are significant risks associated with the eradication of Hizmet schools. Hizmet teachers offered a higher than average educational quality to students in their host countries. This is evident from the academic excellence attributed to students and the high rate of satisfaction shown by parents; Hizmet schools were recognized to the point that state officials preferred to send their children to Hizmet education.[xxxvi] International organizations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have also found that Turkey’s education system underperforms compared to other states. In particular, there is a known risk of sexual harassment in educational institutions and in Turkey more generally, demonstrated by the scandals surrounding the Ensar Foundation, which was closely linked to President Erdogan.[xxxvii] Turkey itself does not provide quality education to its students, and yet it is exporting its own educational systems and values to other countries. This poses a fundamental risk to the countries that import Turkish education by lowering the bar for education in host countries, preventing children from receiving the quality education they deserve. By extension, this could negatively impact the economic development of host countries by preventing the cumulation of human capital via quality education.

A major risk is the possibility that the Maarif Foundation could advance Erdogan’s goal to become the leader of the Islamic world by using investment as a means to ingratiate himself and his agenda to non-Turkish Muslims living abroad.[xxxviii] This ambition is dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, the ‘coexistence’ and expressive approach of Hizmet schools to dialogue with different ethnicities, especially religions, is in stark contrast to the closed and exclusive ideology of Erdogan, who in the past has openly stated that Muslims and Christians should not engage with one another. Secondly, Africa has unique issues with terrorism, such as the proliferation of ISIS in Mozambique, Uganda, and the DRC, as well as Boko Haram in Nigeria. Should the Maarif Foundation take over a significant sector of the education system in many African countries, these issues may worsen as schools disseminate Erdogan’s ideology, which founds politics on religious principles.[xxxix] Dr. Dinse expressed his concern about the risk of destabilising African societies, saying:

“What has happened to our investment is odd for any listener (…) [i]n a country with a strong system of the rule of law and hosting the Head Office of African Union, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and many diplomatic communities, it is unbelievable that foreign investment can be taken forcefully without recourse Rule of Law.”

The Hizmet Schools were insulated from this risk because they lacked a formal link to Gulen and thus never attempted to create a global movement based solely on Gulen’s ideology. Neither the schools nor the students attempted to defend Gulen after the failed coup, nor did they directly oppose the actions of Erdogan.[xl] The schools thus remained education institutions rather than political tools. The only political activity causally linked to the Hizmet schools was protesting in defense of the schools’ autonomy and legality in the face of the Maarif Foundation’s attempted acquisitions. G. Angey (2018) documented this pushback in a case study of Senegal, wherein civil society, parents, and public officials—rather than Turks or Hizmet staff—publicly challenged the attempted transfers in court, citing the risks of losing cherished educational opportunities.[xli]

There is no possible way for the Maarif schools to be insulated from politics because the Foundation is an institution of the state and because Turkey maintains economic leverage over African governments. Hence, even if African civil society, public officials, and state bodies mobilize against the schools in more substantive ways than previously described, African governments will still be forced to comply and cooperate with Erdogan’s demands due to the economic threat of souring relations with Turkey. For instance, the Ethiopian Investment Commission notes that Turkey is the second largest investor in Ethiopia, with $2.5 billion in direct investment. Turkish companies are also the single largest employers, providing roughly 30,000 jobs.[xlii] These facts give Erdogan the power to influence—for better or for worse—the socioeconomic progress of Ethiopia, and thus the power to demand political actions from the Ethiopian government.


In summary, the Turkish government has shifted its foreign policy goals toward exporting education, especially to Africa. Initially, this shift was a product of the Gulen movement, which supported the teaching of moderation, humanitarianism, and multiculturalism. The Gulen movement inspired Hizmet schools, which lacked any explicit link to Gulen and certainly were not willed by Gulen, although they sought to continue his innovative ethos. These schools paved the way for private investment, cultural links, and educational diplomacy prior to the entrance of public representatives of the Turkish government; however, it is also true that the Hizmet schools relied on the Turkish government’s goodwill, using official networks of communication to open more schools across Africa. The rise and fall of Hizmet is, therefore, a tragedy resulting from the fluid identity of the schools. They were both a product of Turkey, since they were inspired by Gulen, financed by Turkish businessmen, and enabled by connections with public officials, and a product of local society, which, over time, came to respect and own the institutions where their children received such a high quality of education. This localisation of formal and informal ownership made the schools adopt an identity that was more African or European than Turkish. This dynamic is evident from the local, rather than international, struggle against the expropriation of the Hizmet schools.

The narratives relating to the schools are divergent, however. Many of the sources referenced in this report support the narrative that the Hizmet schools were a direct extension of the Gulen movement that intended to isolate Turkey and the AKP with a view to overthrow the government. Others support the counter-narrative that the movement and the schools are facing persecution by the Turkish government as part of its campaign for political dominance and disregard for human rights. This report advances this counter-narrative, noting the Turkish government’s escalation of propaganda against Gulen and the Hizmet schools abroad, which recalled the pre-existing fears of terrorism and instability pervasive throughout Africa and Europe. The establishment of the Maarif Foundation furthered these fears by instilling within societies where Hizmet had been successful the idea that Hizmet schools disseminated anti-government sentiment and provided a poor quality of education. The Foundation offered its own Maarif schools as an alternative, claiming they were both educationally superior and more aligned with host countries’ political goals. But the reality is that the Foundation is an extended arm of the Erdogan regime that aims to eradicate the Hizmet system, regain control over foreign relations, and acquire influence over other countries and dignitaries under the auspices of foreign civil society.


[i] Toguslu, E. (2017) ‘The Turbulence between AKP and Hizmet: The African Case’. Centre for Hizmet Studies, p. 9; see also BBC (2016) ‘Tukey coup: What is Gulen movement and what does it want?’. Available online from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36855846 [Accessed 09/07/2022]; see also Norton, J. & Kasapoglu, C. (2016) ‘Turkey’s post-coup crackdown hits ‘Gulen schools’ worldwide’. BBC. Available online from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37422822 [Accessed 09/07/2022].

[ii] Toguslu, pp. 8-9.

[iii] Ibid., pp. 10-11 & 13; see also Dipama, S. & Dal, E. P. (2019) ‘Assessing the Turkish “Trading State” in Sub-Saharan Africa’, in Dal, E. P. (eds.) (2019) Turkey’s Political Economy in the 21st Century. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham., pp. 250-253; see also Angey, G. (2018) ‘The Gulen Movement and the Transfer of a Political Conflict from Turkey to Senegal’. Politics, Religion & Ideology, Vol. 19(1), p. 53 (“By 2013, the Gülen Movement had over 100 schools in 50-odd countries across Africa and was collaborating closely with the Turkish state on the ground.”)

[iv] Toguslu, pp. 16-17; see also Akgun, B. & Ozkan, M. (2020) ‘Turkey’s Entrance to International Education: The Case of Turkish Foundation’. Insight Turkey, Vol. 22(1), p. 60.

[v] Stockholm Center for Freedom (2021a) ‘Turkey’s Maarif Foundation took over 216 Gulen-linked schools in 44 countries, chairman says’. Available online from: https://stockholmcf.org/turkeys-maarif-foundation-took-over-216-gulen-linked-schools-in-44-countries-chairman-says/ [Accessed 16/07/2022] (In order to dissuade his followers regarding these charges, Erdogan began designated the Gulen movement as a terrorist organisation, and that these charges are merely a conspiracy to take down and usurp the government).

[vi] Dr. Sezgin likens Erdogan to Mephisto from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust, explaining that Erdogan’s corrupt nature could have stopped much earlier but instead progressed towards the pinnacle moment when he felt the zeal of the public supporting him and recognized that without support, he would face persecution. The series of charges led to Erdogan committing still more corruption and criminal activity, feeding his growing paranoia and need to collect constant intelligence, growing into a vicious cycle of corruption, crimes, and lies.

[vii] Ibid., p. 7-8; see also Angey, pp. 57-58; see also Akgun & Ozkan, pp. 64-65; see also Stockholm Center for Freedom (2018) ‘Erdogan’s Islamist Maarif Foundation pushes further to replace Gulen science schools in Africa’. Available online from: https://stockholmcf.org/erdogans-islamist-maarif-foundation-pushes-further-to-replace-gulen-science-schools-in-africa/ [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[viii] Toguslu, p. 19.

[ix] Ibid.; see also Angey, p. 58.

[x] Abstract taken from the official law: https://www.global-regulation.com/translation/turkey/3393423/turkey-maarif-foundation-law.html [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xi] Toguslu, p.; Angey, p. 59.

[xii] Toguslu, pp. 19 & 20 19 (the author notes that “What the Education Ministry should be doing is being handed over to a foundation” which further indicates that the government wishes to continue acting via actors that hold a semi-public status of not exactly representing the government but still carrying out the tacitly approved conduct of its public officials); see also Angey, pp. 59-60; see also Akgun & Ozkan, p. 65 (Despite the nature of propaganda in this article, it is interesting to see how the domestic perspective of the Gulen movement’s and Hizmet schools’ respective images. It state that “In the past, the brand of ‘Turkish schools’ abroad was mostly used, popularized and even hijacked by FETO” and that the Foundation’s activities aim at “reclaiming [the] educational soft power for Turkey.”)

[xiii] Toguslu, p. 21; see also Angey, pp. 60-61; see also Donelli, p. 10; see also Tigli, I. et al. (2021) ‘Turkey’s Maarif Foundation takes over2nd FETO-linked school in Ethiopia’. Anadolu Agency. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/education/turkeys-maarif-takes-over-2nd-feto-linked-school-in-ethiopia/2305135 [Accessed 10/07/2022]; see also Daily Sabah (2021) ‘Tukey’s Maarif Foundation takes over all FETO schools in Ethiopia’. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/war-on-terror/turkeys-maarif-foundation-takes-over-all-feto-schools-in-ethiopia [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xiv] Angey, p. 60; see also Dipama & Dal, pp. 245-246, 249, and 257-263.

[xv] Daily Sabah (2016) ‘Maarif Foundation takes over FETO schools in Gabon’. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2016/12/22/maarif-foundation-take-over-feto-schools-in-gabon [Accessed 10/07/2022]

[xvi] Halil, I. & Kazanci, H. (2017) ‘Turkey takes over FETO terror group schools in Chad’. Anadolu Agency. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/turkey-takes-over-feto-terror-group-schools-in-chad/1014315 [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] Paksoy, Y. (2017) ‘FETO-free era of national education begins in Guinea’. Daily Sabah. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2017/02/02/feto-free-era-of-national-education-begins-in-guinea [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xix] Yuzbasioglu, N. (2017) ‘Burundi transferring FETO schools to Turkish Foundation’. Anadolu Agency. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/burundi-transferring-feto-schools-to-turkish-foundation/908418 [Accessed 10/07/2022]; see also Tih, F. K. (2017) ‘Burundi to transfer FETO schools to Turkey’s Maarif’. Anadolu Agency. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/burundi-to-transfer-feto-schools-to-turkey-s-maarif/825981 [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xx] Daily Sabah (2017) ‘Djibouti gives Turkey’s Maarif Foundation green light to build schools’. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/education/2017/03/07/djibouti-gives-turkeys-maarif-foundation-green-light-to-build-schools [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xxi] Stockholm Centre for Freedom (2018).

[xxii] Durul, T. (2018) ‘FETO-linked school in E.Guinea handed over to Maarif Foundation’. Anadolu Agency. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/feto-linked-school-in-eguinea-handed-over-to-maarif-foundation/1255942 [Accessed 10/07/2022].

[xxiii] Turkiye Maarif Vakfi (2019) ‘Official Opening of Maarif Schools in Cameroun’. Available online from: https://turkiyemaarif.org/post/7-official-opening-of-maarif-schools-in-cameroun-615?lang=en [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxiv] Tigli, I. et al. (2021) ‘Turkey’s Maarif takes over 2nd FETO-linked school in Ethiopia’. Available online from: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/education/turkeys-maarif-takes-over-2nd-feto-linked-school-in-ethiopia/2305135 [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxv] Stockholm Center for Freedom (2021b) ‘Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run schools in Ethiopia, says manager’. Available online from: https://stockholmcf.org/turkeys-maarif-foundation-illegally-seized-german-run-school-in-ethiopia-says-manager/ [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxvi] Ibid.

[xxvii] Ibid.

[xxviii] Daily Sabah (2021).

[xxix] Daily Sabah (2019) ‘Maarif Foundation opens its first school in EU’. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2019/09/18/maarif-foundation-opens-its-first-school-in-eu [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxx] Stockholm Center for Freedom (2021a).

[xxxi] Usta, B. (2021) ‘Turkey’s Maarif resumes activities at full speed, taking over 214 schools across world’. Available online from: https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/war-on-terror/turkeys-maarif-resumes-activities-at-full-speed-taking-over-214-schools-across-world [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxxii] Toguslu, p. 21.

[xxxiii] Turkiye Maarif Vakfi.

[xxxiv] Toguslu, p. 21; see also Pitel, L. (2021) ‘Erdogan’s great game: Soldiers, spies and Turkey’s quest for power’. Financial Times. Available online from: https://www.ft.com/content/8052b8aa-62b9-40c9-a40c-d7187d5cd98a [Accessed 16/07/2022]; see also San, S. (2021) ‘Turkish spies are abducting Erdogan’s political opponents abroad’. Open Democracy. Available online from: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/north-africa-west-asia/turkish-spies-are-abducting-erdogans-political-opponents-abroad/ [Accessed 16/07/2022]; see also Vidino, L. (2019) ‘Erdogan’s Long Arm in Europe’. Foreign Policy. Available online from: https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/05/07/erdogans-long-arm-in-europe-germany-netherlands-milli-gorus-muslim-brotherhood-turkey-akp/ [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxxv] Akgun & Ozkan, p. 68.

[xxxvi] Toguslu, pp. 21-22; see also Angey, pp. 62 & 65; see also Donelli, p. 7.

[xxxvii] Toguslu, p. 22; see also Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) (2018) ‘Result from PISA 2018 – Turkey’. Available online from: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/publications/PISA2018_CN_TUR.pdf [Accessed 16/07/2022]; see also Nordic Monitor (2019) ‘Turkey’s Ensar Foundation, caught up in child sexual abuse, became OIC partner’. Available online from: https://nordicmonitor.com/2019/09/turkeys-ensar-foundation-caught-up-in-child-sexual-abuse-became-oic-partner/ [Accessed 16/07/2022].

[xxxviii] Toguslu, pp. 23-24; see also Stockholm Center for Freedom (2018)

[xxxix] Toguslu, pp. 22-23 & 24.

[xl] Angey, p. 65.

[xli] Ibid., pp. 65-66.

[xlii] Daily Sabah (2021); see also Dipama & Dal, p. 260.

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