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Gulen schools in Iraqi Kurdistan sold at Turkey's request

The Kurdish government has seized and sold Gulen-linked schools in Iraqi Kurdistan [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 October, 2016

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The Kurdistan Regional Government has seized and sold schools and colleges believed to be linked to suspected Turkey coup plotter Fettallah Gulen.
Schools in Iraqi Kurdistan linked to alleged Turkey "coup mastermind" Fettallah Gulen have been sold at Turkey's request.

Kurdistan Regional Government seized secondary schools and colleges and sold some of them to Erbil company Khoshnaw Group, Sulaymaniyah-based website Dohrozh reported.

Others remain under KRG control.

The institutions were linked to US-based preacher Gulen, who Turkey suspects of orchestrating the July 15 military coup which failed to overthrow President Tayyip Recep Erdogan.

There are some 12,000 students enrolled in Gulenist schools in Iraqi Kurdistan, which began to appear in the region 22 years ago.

Turkey believes the schools are part of a secretive network which the Gulen movement has used to build a powerbase to undermine the state.

Although not an official brand, a Gulenist school is generally labelled as such because the owner sees Gulen as an inspirational and spiritual leader.

"The ministry will determine the management issue of Gulen schools in the Kurdistan Region," Kurdish Education Minister Pshtiwan Sadiq has said previously.

"We cannot allow an organisation to be involved in education in the Kurdistan Region if it has been listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey," he added.

Last month, at Ankara's request, the KRG began taking over Gulen-linked institutions, most recently Dowran, a Gulen-owned radio station.

Other media linked to Gulen has been muffled by Turkish authorities, while tens of thousands of state employees, including members of the military, have been suspended or sacked over alleged links to the cleric.

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