By Serkan Eruysal
BUCHAREST, Romania (AA) - Turkey's Maarif Foundation -- founded to replace terrorist-linked schools abroad in the wake of a defeated 2016 coup attempt -- on Monday opened its first-ever school in an EU country.
An opening ceremony at the IMS of Bucharest School in the Romanian capital marked the start of the first year for the school.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency at the ceremony, Maarif Foundation Chairman Birol Akgun said it was the first time Maarif has opened a school in an EU country.
"By opening this school, in a sense, we're trying to prevent people's children here from enrolling in FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization] schools," Akgun stressed.
The foundation also opened another IMS High School in Elbasan, central Albania on Monday with the participation of Turkish and Albanian officials.
The Turkish government set up the Turkish Maarif Foundation soon after the 2016 defeated coup orchestrated by FETO in order to give overseas schools formerly linked to the group responsible leadership.
The foundation has also established schools and education centers in various continents, from Africa to Asia, over the last three years.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
FETO also has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private schools that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
* Contribution by Fatjon Cuka,Seyyid Emin and Furkan Abdula from Elbasan, writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara