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Friday, February 24, 2017

Pakistan - Parents slam Pak-Turk schools handover to Turkish 'Islamist' NGO.

Pakistan - Parents slam Pak-Turk schools handover to Turkish 'Islamist' NGO. (ET).

LAHORE: Parents of students of Pak-Turk schools and colleges blasted the Pakistan government for handing over the education system to a Turkish nonprofit organization called Maarif Foundation. They alleged the move was an effort to gain political millage.

Speaking to the media at the Lahore Press Club on Friday, parents representing the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges Parent-Teacher Association said their children’s future was put at stake to “please a foreign political party”.

They said that the schools and colleges would suffer if handed-over to the “poorly-equipped and infamous” Maarif Foundation. The speakers underlined they would be forced to take their children out of the schools if the government went ahead with the plan. They also threatened to protest, along with students, against the government. The parents said those taking over do not understand the education systems in Pakistan, whether it is matriculation or Cambridge.

Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges Parent-Teacher Association was represented by Qadeer Hussain, Adnan Kakar and Ghazala Bano. They all agreed Maarif Foundation was an infamous entity that would destroy the future of their children. Qadeer Hussain claimed that any school handed over to the Maarif Foundation was closed-down. “It is unacceptable that a complete chain of high-performing schools will be being destroyed at the behest of a foreign political party.”

Adnan Kakar said that the way Turkish teachers, who spent decades educating Pakistani children, were treated was shameful. He added foreign dictation would not be accepted as it was matter of their children’s future.

Ghazala Bano alleged members of the Maarif Foundation were involved with ISIS and some were imprisoned on terrorism charges. She said that around 30 teachers from Maarif were being trained at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML). “They are being taught English. How will they teach when they are learning the language of education at this stage?” She said Turkey’s domestic political issues should not impact Pakistani society and the government should think about the associated risks. She added the future of more than 15,000 students was at stake.

Is [Erdogan’s] Maarif Foundation capable of delivering quality education?

The Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges management is being pressurized to be handed over to Maarif Foundation as it has also filed petition to become party to the litigation process in Islamabad High Court.

Though funded by Turkey’s Ministry of Education, the nascent organization remains a mystery and source of anxiety for staff, parents and students of the Pak-Turk institutions alike.

Minister for National Education Ismet Yilmaz expressed that Turkey’s Maarif Foundation is the extension of the Ministry abroad and said, “It is a public foundation and founded by law. We also have our Ministry of National Education schools abroad; when they will be ready and when they will demand it from us, we will also transfer them to the Foundation.”
Not only will the Maarif Foundation be unable to accomplish anything conducive and rewarding, it will not be able to prepare the required generation of youth with open-mindedness and critical thinking.
Maarif Foundation claims to have taken control of private Turkish schools in Somalia, Guinea, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania and Sudan.

Maarif Foundation is so desperate to hire staff to replace the Turkish schools abroad that it is offering jobs to inexperienced youth, many of whom has recently completed their degrees.

According to a study by the Turkey’s Ministry of National Education, there are 12,824 students who will be teaching and providing education in about 120 countries where Maarif is required to provide teaching staff as well as management.

The parents and staff members, privy to Turkey’s substantial share of problems in the education sector fear for that it will not be able to maintain the standard of teaching and management that has been the hallmark of the founding organization. In fact, Turkey’s annual education ratings are considerably inferior to many developing countries.

The activities of the Maarif Foundation, which has brought two-dozen teachers currently learning English at National University of Modern Languages, lack requisite offshore teaching experience as well as exposure to Pakistani culture and society.

The basic question arising here is as to why Pakistan should accept Turkish public sector teachers while its own citizens prefer the expensive but quality private sector education for their kids. A marginal number of Turkey’s MP would have attended public sector schools while their children surely are enrolled in private sector teaching institutions.

Besides lacking knowledge of Pakistani society, the staff sent from Turkey not only has been chosen on political basis but is also devoid of administrative and foreign language skills.

Given AKP’s close ties with Muslim Brotherhood, blind import of manpower will come with political ideology, which has been minimized in Pakistan’s schools and colleges after efforts of two decades.

Not only will the Maarif Foundation be unable to accomplish anything conducive and rewarding, it will not be able to prepare the required generation of youth with open-mindedness and critical thinking.

Video - Armenian Bishop Armash Nalbandian: Countries Supporting the Turkish Criminals in Syria Bear Responsibility for Genocide.

Video - Armenian Bishop Armash Nalbandian: Countries Supporting the Turkish Criminals in Syria Bear Responsibility for Genocide. HT: MEMRI.

Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus, accused Turkey of giving militants in Syria instructions "to target Armenian places, churches, and schools, and to target the very identity of the Armenians." Bishop Nalbandian, speaking on the Egyptian ON TV channel on January 28, said that a new genocide was taking place in Syria and that "the Arab and non-Arab countries that support the Turkish criminals in Syria bear responsibility for the new genocides." Recognizing the Armenian genocide and condemning it would "send a message to the world that genocides should never take place," he said.

Can NATO Survive 'Islamist' Turkey?

Can NATO Survive 'Islamist' Turkey? (AINA).

It has become a staple of diplomatic rhetoric that, whatever problems the United States has with the current government in Turkey, diplomats must ameliorate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because Turkey is too important to NATO and also a staging ground in any operations against the Islamic State.

Certainly, that is the position of the new administration. Vice President Mike Pence has said he foresees a "new day" in U.S.-Turkey relations. Trump himself stressed the close U.S.-Turkey relationship during his first phone call with the Turkish leader. Ted Malloch, a businessman and Trump ally who is a leading candidate to become US ambassador to the European Union, argued that the United States should bite the bullet and give into Erdogan's political demands in order to reset U.S.-Turkish relations.

Alas, what the Trump team appears not to realize is that Erdogan's problem with the United States and the West more generally is ideological and not based on grievance. In particular, Erdogan hates NATO. 

That may sound counterintuitive given that Turkey contributes the second-largest troop component to NATO and participates with NATO countries in Afghanistan. But Erdogan's upbringing was against the backdrop of Cold War diplomacy blessing Turkish dictatorships. So why doesn't Erdogan just pull Turkey out of NATO? Here, the sad truth is that Erdogan can do far more damage from inside NATO because the defensive alliance is governed by consensus. By remaining inside NATO, Erdogan can paralyze the organization with a de facto veto.

But, Erdogan's game is deeper. His party is now demonizing NATO as a terror organization. Here is what AKP Gaziantep parliamentarian Şamil Tayyar had to say:

Turkey has been subjected to coups since it joined NATO. NATO has always been in charge of the dirty and bloody deeds in the country. The 1960 military coup was staged by the British, the 1971 coup was staged by the CIA, and the 1980 coup was staged by NATO. In NATO's new plan, a Turkey with [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan should not exist... NATO has become a threat and is spreading terror organizations across the region. You can designate NATO along with DEASH [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant -- ISIL], the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] and FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization].

In a country where saying or thinking the wrong thing can lead years in prison--even for members of parliamentary--it simply isn't possible that Tayyar was speaking absent Erdogan's approval.

Turkish state media, meanwhile, has sent reporters to Ramstein Air Base in Germany to broadcast programs accusing NATO of involvement in terrorism.

So what is Erdogan's game here? He believes he is engaged in a win-win strategy. If the United States and European officials refuse his demands, his incitement will transform NATO into an enemy in the eyes of most Turks. Such actions would also feed Russian propaganda and anti-American forces worldwide. It will also allow him to play the nationalist card against the NATO bogey in the run-up to the April 2017 referendum on a new constitution which would formalize Erdogan's dictatorial powers.

On the other hand, if Trump caves into Erdogan's demands, he will justify his purge of officers and civil servants whose only crime was having been posted to NATO offices and legitimize his broader crackdown. This, too, would play into Erdogan's hands ahead of the April referendum.

So what is NATO to do? Turkey poses a problem the defensive alliance hasn't experienced in its nearly seven decade existence: What to do when the enemy is internal rather than external.

Appeasing Erdogan only kicks the can down the road, but it is not a sustainable strategy. It is time for NATO to get serious about the Trojan horse which Turkey has become.

136 Turkish diplomats, relatives seek asylum in Germany, More and more are applying for asylum.

136 Turkish diplomats, relatives seek asylum in Germany, More and more are applying for asylum. (Fr24).

"The government is aware of 136 asylum applications filed by diplomatic passport holders from Turkey. They also include family members," said the interior ministry in a written reply to a query from a lawmaker.

The ministry said however that it did not have data on how many among the applicants are diplomats and how many are soldiers stationed at NATO bases.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has accused US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen of having orchestrated the putsch, and launched a sweeping crackdown against his followers.

Some 43,000 people in Turkey have been arrested over their suspected links to Gulen's movement, and 100,000 fired or suspended. Many of them are teachers, police, magistrates and journalists.

The scale of the crackdown has raised international concern, with Germany among the most vocal in raising questions over the mass arrests.

That and a string of other spats have contributed to fraying ties between Ankara and Berlin.

Last month, news magazine "Der Spiegel" and public broadcaster ARD reported that dozens of Turkish officers applied for asylum for fear of being arrested upon returning home.

In a subsequent meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Merkel to extradite the soldiers. Foreign soldiers stationed in NATO-bases are also entitled to a diplomatic passport. Read the full story here.

Video - ME Expert Elijah J. Magnier: 'Syria Cannot Counter Israel Now, Turkey’s switching position in Syria'.

Video - Syria Cannot Counter Israel Now, Turkey’s switching position in Syria. HT @EjmAlrai.

More from ME Expert Elijah J. Magnier, Al Rai Chief International and veteran War correspondent & analyst: EU, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya..Terrorism, CT. & Intl. SCUBA. HERE: Geneva talks doomed: Turkey’s changing position in Syria is pushing Russia into more aggression.
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