Morocco has ordered the closure of schools it says are linked to U.S.-based Islamic preacher that Ankara blames for a foilied coup last year, Agence France-Presse has said, citing the Morrocan interior ministry.
“Investigations on the establishments of the Mohamed Al-Fatih group, linked to Turkish national Fethullah Gülen, showed they use education to spread the group’s ideology and ideas contrary to the principles of the Moroccan educational and religious system,” a ministry statement said.
After a series of warnings from the education ministry, “it was decided all the group’s educational establishments would be closed within a delay of one month,” it said.
The statement did not say how many schools or pupils would be affected but said the government would strive to ensure the students continued their education in other schools.
Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, is the main suspect in the probe into the July 15, 2016 failed coup case aimed at toppling Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the governmenment.
The preacher heads a network, which Ankara names as the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).
Since the coup attempt, Turkey has piled pressure on the United States to extradite Gülen.
In August, an official Turkish delegation visited Morocco to convince the authorities of the danger of Gülen’s group.
A school director from the Mohamed Al-Fatih group at the time rejected any link with Gülen for seven schools teaching 2,500 students including 2,470 Moroccans.
He said 90 percent of their teachers were also Moroccan nationals.
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