Turkey hails Pakistan move on FETÖ schools

Turkey hails Pakistan move on FETÖ schools

Turkey hails Pakistan move on FETÖ schools

The gate of the Pakistani Supreme Court is seen in this file photo. The court has ruled on handover of FETÖ’s schools in the country to Turkey.

Turkey has welcomed a ruling by Pakistan’s top court to designate FETÖ a “terrorist group,” saying it should set a precedent for other countries.

In a statement on Dec. 28, the Turkish Foreign Ministry appreciated the Pakistani Supreme Court’s ruling of handing over the FETÖ-linked schools to Turkiye Maarif Foundation.

“The decision, which we consider as the manifestation of mutual cooperation based on strong bonds between Turkey and Pakistan, should set a precedent for all countries,” the ministry added.

Earlier on Dec. 28, the Pakistani court ordered the government to declare the FETÖ a terror group and to ban its affiliated schools in the country.

On Dec. 13, a local lawyer Sohail Sajid had filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court and requested to declare the group a terrorist outfit in the country.

The court directed the Interior Ministry to declare FETÖ-linked Pak-Turk International Çağ Education Foundation (PTICEF) a “proscribed organization” and include its name in the list of terrorist outfit.

“Today is historic day as our country’s top country has declared FETÖ as a terror outfit, which staged the defeated coup in our brotherly country

Turkey in July 2016,” Sajid, the petitioner, told Anadolu Agency.

Asset seizure

The court also directed the country’s financial institutions to immediately freeze the bank accounts of FETÖ-linked foundation and give custody of the such assets to Turkiye Maarif Foundation.

A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, ordered the hand over FETÖ’s “all the movable and immovable assets.”

Turkey established the Maarif Foundation in 2016 to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETÖ. The foundation also establishes schools and education centers abroad.

Currently 28 schools are running under the FETÖ-linked organization in Pakistan.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.