The Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan said in a statement on July 30 that the Turkish schools linked to Fethullah Gülen, who allegedly led failed coup attempt in Turkey according to the President Erdogan, will remain on the territory of the Central Asian nation.
The statement followed the Friday warning of Turkey’s ambassador to Kazakhstan. The ambassador was speaking after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday warned that followers of the controversial cleric could stage a coup in Kazakhstan’s neighbor Kyrgyzstan.
Ambassador Nevzat Uyanik raised the issue of “Kazakhstani-Turkish schools” believed to be run by foundations loyal to the 75-year-old Gulen’s ideas, saying Ankara does not support them. “These schools have no relationship to Turkey’s official state organs whatsoever,” Uyanik told a news conference in Astana, CNN-Turkey reports.
He called the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey “a warning to other countries,” adding that “we are sure that the relevant bodies will start taking the necessary measures,” apparently referring to Kazakhstan authorities. Cooperation “is not only in the interests of Turkey, these questions touch on the interests of Kazakhstan too,” he said.
“These schools (27) will be working as they used to. Students and parents should not fear that they could close down,” said in the Education Ministry’s statement also reminding that these schools “were established as a result of a bilateral education deal between Kazakhstan and Turkey supported by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and former President of Turkey Turgut Özal.”
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are the only two countries in the mostly Turkic-speaking Central Asian region where Gulenist educational institutions still have a significant presence.
Published on Aki Press, 1 August 2016, Monday
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