The Government of the Republic of Turkey has said it will take over the multi-billion-naira investments of the Fetullah Gulen Movement in Nigeria following the designation of the group as a terrorist organisation.

The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Melih Ulueren, said the government had established the Turkish Maarif Foundation, which he said would soon take over the movement’s economic interests, including schools, hospitals and manufacturing concerns operating in Nigeria.

The Gulen movement’s investments in Nigeria include schools and institutions such as Surat Educational Ltd., Abuja; Nigerian-Tulip International School, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe, Ogun and Lagos; and the Nigerian-Turkish Nile University, Abuja.

Others are the Association of Businessmen and Investors of Nigeria and Turkey/Abinat, Abuja and Lagos; Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, Abuja; Nigerian-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital, Abuja; and Vefa Travel Agency, Abuja.

The envoy stated this in Abuja on Monday during the commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of the thwarted military coup attempt in Turkey which was allegedly masterminded by the Gulen Movement in 2016.

The failed putsch claimed the lives of 250 Turkish citizens while scores of others were injured.

Ulueren said, “FETÖ is present in around 160 countries, with thousands of schools, businesses, non-governmental organisations and media houses,” adding that its strategy involved enlarging its global economic and political influence.

He insisted that the organisation constituted a direct security threat to any country where they operated.

The diplomat said, “You may think that FETO is a benign civic education movement, as some circles try hard to portray but that will be a huge mistake. It will be a huge mischaracterisation to think of their leader, Fethulah Gulen, merely as a peaceful Islamic scholar and preacher.”