Turkey to open hospitals abroad, says ruling party deputy

Turkey to open hospitals abroad, says ruling party deputy

Hacer Boyacıoğlu ANKARA
Following the government’s initiative to open Turkish schools abroad, the Health Ministry is now planning to open hospitals abroad, starting with Somalia and Sudan.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Cevdet Erdöl said during a speech at parliament that the Health Ministry was considering opening training and research hospitals abroad.

“The [Health] Ministry will establish training and research hospitals abroad, firstly in Somali and Sudan, then there will also be work in Europe,” Erdöl said.

The opening of hospitals abroad under the Health Sciences University, which is currently being debated at the parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission, will be possible with a cabinet decision.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet, officials from the Health Ministry said they would conduct protocols with states and open hospitals there. They said the criteria for selecting the countries would be in line with its Turkish population.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Nabi Avcı has said that all Turkish schools abroad would be gathered under a foundation named the “Education Foundation” (Maarif Vakfı).

Avcı said they were proceeding with various ways to open new Turkish schools abroad or to transform current ones.

Previously, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arınç had announced on Jan. 2 the government’s intention to transform schools run by sympathizers of the Fethullah Gülen movement.

The Gülen movement, which is run by U.S.-based scholar Gülen, is accused by Ankara of forming a “parallel state” to try to topple the Turkish government.

The word “maarif” is a rare word in Turkish, deriving from Arabic. It has two meanings: Knowledge and culture. The Education Ministry was formerly called the “Maarif Ministry.”