Tajik President Emomali Rahmon was said to have authorised Tajik Ministry of Education to confiscate US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen’s seven schools around the country, according to Tajikistan's national news agency NIAT Hovar.
The Tajik agency said Rahmon had signed the order that authorises the Ministry of Education to take over seven Gulen schools run by the Selale Educational Institution by converting them into public schools under the name of "schools for gifted children."
Turkish government has been accusing Gulen and his community-like network of comprising a “parallel state” in Turkish bureaucracy and the country's top institutions, including judiciary, police force, the army and universities through which they were allegedly trying to undermine the power of Turkish state.
Gulen and his followers are known for their gradual organisation in Turkey’s education system by spreading their school networks for years in order to exert dominance over Turkish state institutions.
The group has been also operating outside of Turkey by increasing their school numbers in more than hundred countries from Asia to Africa and the Americas.
Turkish government has given up its informal support and promotion of those so-called Turkish schools affiliated with the Gulen group when the group had attempted to use its influence for a failed judicial coup to allegedly overtake the Turkish government on Dec. 17-25, 2013.
Since then the Turkish government and foremost President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been urging the countries which have the schools run-by Gulen group to shut down or convert them into public schools of their-own.
The Tajik leadership was said to have also been investigating such allegations on the Gulen-affiliated schools since the early 2015 as Turkish authorities requested Tajikistan to keep a close watch over educational activities of those institutions.
Thus, Tajik education officials were reportedly to have taken the decision to shut down Gulen schools in May, the Tajik agency claimed.
The agency references to Tajikistan’s Minister of Education and Science Nuriddin Said, by stating the ministry's preparation to take over the schools as Said pledged on May 21 to shut down those institutions after all necessary legal documents are completed.
Head of the ministry’s Early Childhood and Primary Education Department, Abdujabbor Aliyev also confirmed the minister and said the schools would be forced to change their education patterns and curriculum in the coming academic year.
“The founder of these schools, the Selale Educational Institutions, will also lose its status,” Aliyev added.
The Gulen schools were started to be opened in the Turkic republics of Central Asia by the early 1990s when the former Soviet Union fell apart as a result of the fall of communism.
Tajikistan is not classified as one of Central Asia’s Turkic republics - which include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan - since the overwhelming majority of the country’s population speak the Tajik dialect of Persian language.
The first Gulen school in Tajikistan was opened in 1992 when the Tajik Civil War began, since then Emomali Rahmon has been serving as the president of Tajikistan.
So far, many countries have either closed Gulen-affiliated schools or started to investigate the allegations regarding educational activities and operations of those institutions in their soils.
Ankara mulls over to get devolving of Gulen schools all around the world under the Turkish Ministry of Education unless some countries reject to shut down those institutions.