Turkish government anger with the Gulen movement, over its alleged involvement in the failed July 15 coup, has spread to Africa. Governments are being pressured into closing down Gulen schools.
Children are romping around the school grounds apparently without a care in the world. A few of them are standing together and reciting in unison “I for ice cream, J for job.” The atmosphere is bright and cheerful and the school has a clear vision of its future and that of its students. Such is the impression which the Nigeria Turkish International School in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, seeks to convey to visitors.
The school belongs to the Hizmet movement run by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. It is one of a chain of 17 educational establishments operating in various parts of Nigeria since 1998. Their goal is not merely to pass down knowledge from teacher to student, Hizmet representative, Cemal Yigit told DW. “As educators, we can help build a more peaceful society in countries troubled by conflict,” he said.