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Turkey’s Sweeping “Educational” Penetration into the Balkans by Uzay Bulut (Gatestone Inst.)

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Jan. 31, 2019

  • Erdogan repeatedly has said that his government aims to raise “devout generations” in Turkey. To this end, he has Islamized Turkey’s education system. Now he is working on exporting Islamized curricula to Europe.
  • “Turkey’s experience in religious education is very important to us, as it has advanced in a remarkable way. If we also use the imam hatip school method in our countries, in ten years we could also have a president [such as Erdogan] raised in an imam hatip school.” — Participants in a conference of school administrators from Europe and the Balkans, 2017, according to the Maarif Foundation.
  • “…[J]ihad is obligatory until judgment day… in some places, jihad is done with the pen; in others it is done with the tongue. And in some other places, it is carried out with guns. What is your jihad in the lands where you reside? If Muslims are persecuted somewhere, it is because there is no caliphate where they live.” — Nureddin Yıldız, one of the first members of the World Union of Scholars from Turkey and also the founding member of the Union of Scholars in Turkey, in a fatwa on his website.

As part of its expansionist neo-Ottoman agenda, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been building mosques and setting up Islamic educational institutions around the world. The mosque that Ankara is currently constructing in Tirana, Albania, will reportedly be the largest of the dozens of its mosques in the Balkans.

Through the Maarif Foundation — established in 2016 by means of a law enacted by the Turkish parliament, which gave it the authority to open schools abroad — a kindergarden, primary-, middle- and high-schools were built in Tirana. In October 2018, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was the keynote speaker at the inauguration in Albania of the Maarif-run University of New York Tirana.

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