Moroccan authorities Thursday demanded the closure of all Turkish schools sponsored by the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen accused by Ankara to be the mastermind of the July failed military coup against President Erdogan.
Turkish authorities deem Gülen movement a terrorist group. Ankara believes that the movement utilizes schools to spread the ideology of the 75-year old man, settled in Pennsylvania.
The Moroccan interior ministry issued a statement calling Gülen-sponsored schools in the kingdom to shut down.
“Investigations on schools of ‘Mohamed al-Fatih’, linked to Turkish Fethullah Gülen, have shown they utilize the education sector to spread the group’s ideology and these ideas are against Morocco’s education and religious principles,” the statement said.
“As they failed to abide by warnings from the ministry of national education (…) in order to resolve the malfunctions noted, all schools connected of this group are called to shut down within one month.”
The ministry did not say how many schools are linked to Gülen. The students enrolled in these schools will be transferred to other public or private institutions to pursue their education, the ministry said.
Ankara reportedly informed Rabat of the support and financial endorsement enjoyed by the Gülen movement in the kingdom.
The decision to close the schools comes four months after a team of Turkish lawmakers visited Rabat to prove to Moroccan authorities the “evil” nature of the Gülen movement and its associated schools, Jeune Afrique reports.
In August, seven schools connected to the movement in Morocco, including three in Casablanca, were accused of disseminating the ideology of the US-based cleric.
The movement made of schools, companies, NGOs has been accused by President Erdogan of supporting the July 15 failed military coup in Ankara. President Erdogan called on the US to extradite the Turkish cleric for investigation.