Some of these schools have been closed. Others have been handed over to the Maarif Foundation, an institution created by the Turkish government that is taking over sequestered Gulenist schools. Gabon and Sudan have both handed over Turkish nationals with ties with Hizmet to Turkey. Experts say Erdogan has used his influence in the Muslim world, and promises of much-needed investment, to persuade governments to detain and deport those he labels terrorists. Speaking to the local Muslim community during his July 2018 visit to South Africa, where he took part in a BRICS Summit, Erdogan compared what he calls the FETO with Daesh, Al Qaeda and the Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK. He urged South African Muslims to be “vigilant” about the Gulenists. “We are aware that FETO is trying to attract Muslims in South Africa, especially through educational institutions,” he said, accusing Hizmet of using “incentives like education, charity and dialogue to infiltrate” the Turkish state “for 40 years”. Unlike the fragile governments in Somalia, Gabon or Sudan, South Africa has not succumbed to Turkish pressure, and remains a haven for Turkish exiles. Persecution in South Africa is limited to a boycott imposed by Turkish embassies and consulates, a minor… Read full this story
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