The private education sector plays a significant role in the Turkish education system, which is based on central exams to attend the higher schools and universities and the sector has grown rapidly in the last four decades, in which the Gülen movement achieved significant success in this sector (Vicini, 2020). Therefore, the Erdogan regime created a new educational concept under the Maarif foundation and fights against the movement through this concept. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Erdogan administration’s efforts in the educational field, how it fights against the Gülen movement, and the educational concept of the Maarif Foundation. A qualitative research design is used to study this issue. Semi-structured expert interviews are conducted with managers of the Gülen inspired schools and experts on the movement from three continents, such as Europe, Africa, and America. The results show that the complete Gülen movement is labeled as a Terrorist organization, its reputation was damaged and, consequently, these educational institutions were closed in Turkey. In addition, the Erdogan regime used different methods against the Gülen inspired schools outside of Turkey and offered new colleges that were managed by the Maarif Foundation in Turkey. These new schools call themselves “Turkish Schools”, have a STEM-based curriculum that is taught in English by Turkish teachers from Turkey and focus on expanding the Turkish language and culture outside of Turkey. How several countries reacted to this offer and current developments are focused on this paper.
Mehmet Evrim Altin, International University of Bad Honnef (IUBH), Germany
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