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Gülen-linked schools still active in 75 countries: Turkish minister

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Schools affiliated with the faith-based Gülen movement, a group that was outlawed by the Turkish government, are still active in 75 countries, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in response to a parliamentary question, the Hürriyet Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Turkey has been lobbying for the closure of Gülen-linked schools and language courses abroad and has succeeded in 22 countries, the minister said in a written response to a question submitted by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Hasan Kalyoncu.

Schools affiliated with the Gülen movement were closed in Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Gambia, Libya, Jordan, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Rwanda, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, Montenegro, Maldives, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Serbia, Senegal, Venezuela and Oman, according to the minister.

To take over Gülen-linked schools abroad, Turkey in June 2016 established the Maarif Foundation, which has been running schools in 18 countries: Guinea, Somalia, Niger, Sudan, Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Senegal, Tunisia, Gabon, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Venezuela, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Ankara accuses the movement of orchestrating the 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

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