World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s Ministry of Education is working on a program to replace schools run by the Gulen movement abroad, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday during his official visit to Ethiopia.
The Gulen movement is said to be run by a U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of trying to topple the Turkish government.
Erdogan made the comments at a joint press conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
“In the countries we visit, our prime minister, ministers, I myself speak to country leaders and tell them about the positions of these (Gulen-run) institutions and that they should be closed down, while our ministry of education will ensure the same services,” the president said.
He said the Turkish Ministry of Education was working on the measure and would soon complete the task. The ministry is working alongside the General Assembly of Foreign Economic Relations Board, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Economy, Turkish president's statement elaborated.
Erdogan told Desalegn about the “parallel state” which he said was a threat to Turkey's national security.
The parallel state refers to an alleged set up of the Gulen movement that is accused of infiltrating key institutions, including police, judiciary and bureaucracy inside Turkey.
“From now on, we will look for the Turkish government’s support and approval when working with any organization,” the Ethiopian premier said.
Desalegn said his country only had good intentions when it cooperated with other organizations and added that he would cooperate with Turkey on the issue.
“We believe that this cooperation will strengthen our future," Erdogan added.
$500 MILLION TRADE VOLUME
Erdogan said the trade volume between Turkey and Ethiopia reached $400 million and hoped it would reach $500 million in a short time.
“The total population of both countries is 170 million, this trade is far too low,” he said.
He called on Turkish entrepreneurs to seek Ethiopia for energy and hydroelectric power projects, and said he hoped the two countries would enter a new era of cooperation and economic ties.
SUPPORT FOR SOMALIA
"Turkey closely supports reconstruction efforts in Somalia," Desalegn said, "We, as Ethiopia, are also doing everything we can and putting all efforts to reconstruct and reestablish security in Somalia."
"We wish for the Horn of Africa to be a strong and peaceful geographical region," he said.
Erdogan is expected to arrive in Somali capital Mogadishu Friday, according to Somali presidential spokesman Daud Aweis. He is scheduled to hold talks with his Somali counterpart, Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud, along with other top government officials.