Afghanistan will hand over to Turkish government all Afghan-Turk schools linked to Fatullah Gulen who was blamed for last year's coup.
The decision follows a request from Turkey as part of international campaign by President Tayyip Erdogan against the interests of Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric whose movement has been designated as terrorists.
Shafiq Samim, the Afghan deputy minister for education, said that President Ashraf Ghani received a formal request from Turkey in this regard six months ago. He added that Ghani was against shutting the schools, and instead approved a recommendation to hand them over to Turkey’s Maarif (Education) Foundation.
There are 8,000 boys and girls studying at some sixteen Afghan-Turk schools in different major cities of Afghanistan, including Kabul, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Afghan-Turk schools are considered prestigious schools in the country delivering high quality services.
There are concerns that handover of the schools would affect existing situation of the schools.
However, Samim said that the Turkish foundation has pledged to invest up to $5 million to further lift the standard of the schools.
Mucip Uludag, Turkey’s Maarif Coordinator in Afghanistan, also said that the Afghan-Turk schools would offer the best quality education to Afghan students, including scholarship opportunities in Turkey.
The first Afghan-Turk school was established in Afghanistan in 1995. Other countries which have transferred control of such schools to Turkish government include Pakistan. Senegal and Guinea.
Afghanistan and Turkey have close ties and Kabul condemned July 2016 failed military coup in Turkey that left more than 230 killed.