Turkey plans to transform Gulen-run schools abroad into civil foundations
Turkish Deputy PM Bulent Arinc said Monday the government agreed to transform Gulen-run schools abroad into civil foundations that operate on donations and partial financial support from the state, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Gulen movement is said to be run by U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of trying to topple the Turkish government through what has been dubbed as the "parallel state," an alleged group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.
"The system we will set up will definitely be a foundation and will operate on a volunteer basis," Arinc said during a press conference held after a Cabinet meeting in Ankara.
The last two Cabinet meetings focused on designating a program to replace Gulen-run charter schools abroad, where Minister of Education Nabi Avci presented a detailed plan.
Arinc said the schools will follow the example of Turkey's Yunus Emre Institutes, which conducts cultural, artistic and scientific activities abroad through its Turkish cultural centers.
"We must be open and transparent as a government and we are dwelling on the means to do it in line with the principles of a law state," he said.
He said work is underway on how to establish, fund and supervise such these foundations.
Arinc, however, did not specify how the government will enforce the proposed idea.
The deputy prime minister also said the project is not missionary work but is an act of education and cultural diplomacy.
"A foundation with civil formation as 70 percent and the other 30 percent as public support is possible," he added.
He also said a decision was made about the foundation's name, but it will be announced by the education minister in the coming days, once the project is ready.