Welcoming the students of the Yavuz Selim Education Institutions after their success in international competitions, Aly Ngouille Ndiaye, the industry and mines minister of Senegal, said the students of the Turkish schools are encouraging hope for the future of the country.
Despite fabricated stories in pro-government newspapers in Turkey, which say that some governments are closing the schools inspired by the faith-based Gülen movement, Ndiaye welcomed the students who participated in different international science competitions across the world in his office and awarded them with gifts.
Ndiaye said it is an honor to host students from the Yavuz Selim Education Institutions, which provide quality education and an opportunity to successfully represent Senegal internationally.
Students of Yavuz Selim Education Institutions in Senegal were awarded in the Biology Olympiads in Indonesia, Golden Climate International Environmental Project Olympiad in Kenya and I-SWEEEP Olympiads (The International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering, and Environment Project) in Houston, Texas in 2015.
In a fabricated story on Wednesday, the pro-government Sabah daily claimed that the governments of Senegal, Azerbaijan and Gabon closed down the Turkish Schools inspired by the Gülen movement in accordance with the requests of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. However, Sabah's story was not confirmed by the school administrations in the mentioned countries.
As part of Erdoğan's smear campaign against the Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement, Erdoğan and members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government claimed that some African countries agreed to shut down the Turkish Schools after their requests during recent visits. After such stories were reported, a number of state officials and politicians from these countries have been seen visiting and praising the Turkish Schools and rejecting any possibility of the schools' closure.
After a major graft probe went public in December 2013 that implicated members of the AK Party and Erdoğan's inner circles, Erdoğan and the AK Party leadership have claimed that bureaucrats in the police force and judiciary who are sympathizers of the Gülen movement tried to overthrow the AK party government by carrying out the corruption investigations.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Faruk Loğoğlu, who is a former Turkish ambassador to the US and former Foreign Affairs Ministry undersecretary, told Cihan news agency on Friday that Erdoğan had a serious obsession with the movement since the graft his government is involved in was revealed. Loğoğlu said his obsessions are tarnishing Turkey's image internationally.
Meanwhile, students of the Turkish Schools from 25 countries who came to Romania's capital, Bucharest, for the International Festival of Language and Culture were welcomed by state officials. Students visited the Bucharest Governor's Office, Constitutional Court of Romania and Romanian Gendarmerie as part of their tour in the capital.
Published on Today's Zaman, 22 May 2015, Friday
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