ZIS (Zaman International School) Statement Regarding Accusations – 18 July 2016maxileft
Statement by Zaman Co, Ltd. to respond to the news regarding the accusations during the press conference organized by Turkish Embassy on 18.07.2016.
Based on the media coverage of the press conference, we have a necessity to inform the public and answer some questions to clarify the confusions. Firstly, as Zaman Co Ltd, we strongly condemn the coup attempt in Turkey that happened on 15 July, 2016. We strongly believe in democracy, and we think that governments should be formed through a process of free and fair elections; we are against any military interventions. Everyone in Turkey as well as its partners and friends will suffer a lot from this heinous attempt. We are saddened by the groundless accusation of us, the schools which have been operating for almost 20 years, being linked to this kind of heinous coup attempt. Below are our questions and answers people might be curious about.
1) Are Zaman Schools affiliated with Fethullah Gulens Movement?
Zaman International schools are one of Cambodia's premier independent international schools, enrolling over 2000 students in KG, Primary, High School and University level. ZIS is controlled by The School Board. The administration and teaching staff represent over 15 different countries. The average teaching experience of ZIS teachers is over 10 years. Our vision states that we strive to bring up individuals who will thrive and contribute to this world, have a solid sense of who they are, respect for others as individuals, as members of a group, as citizens of their nation, and as members of the global community.
The founders of Zaman International School started with the spiritual motivation of Mr Fethullah Gulen; however, Mr Gulen has never had any official link, ownership or involvement in the school administration, he has never taken a part in any sort of decision making process in forming or running the schools. The link with Mr Gulen had only motivational and inspirational nature. The schools are licensed by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, running under Zaman Co Ltd which is also a registered company in Ministry of Commerce. So schools are Cambodian schools which are regularly inspected, paying taxes duty and operated by its School Board. The schools are famous for their quality education and their national and international achievements.
2) What kind of support (if any) do the Zaman Schools currently receive from the Cambodian government?
Zaman Schools are run by Zaman Co ltd which has been operating since its establishment according to the law and regulations of the Kingdom of Cambodia. We have never received any financial or any other kind of support from Cambodian Government. But due to our national and International achievements, we have received high level honors and recognitions. This leads us to maintain our success.
3) Are any of the schools executives/board members/etc. a part of or sympathetic to Fethullah Gulen? Are there any staff members who are?
During job interviews, affiliation to Gulen Movement is never asked to the applicants. So we don’t exactly know who and how many of them do. As it is not a requirement to have sympathy to Mr. Gulen to work in our schools, we guess there might be staff knowing him and appreciating his teachings. This is not to mention that many of our students don’t even know who Mr. Fethullah Gulen is.
4) What is your response to the ambassador calling the Fethulah Gulen group a terrorist organization; and Zaman School has a link with it?
This is answered by Mr Gulen and his mouthpieces already. You may better refer to them. But for accusations to our company, here what we say; Referring to the presumption of innocence, we are inviting H.E. Ambassador to show the evidence, any court decision and whatever proof he has to blame us, to the public and the authorities. We have the confidence of innocence so it is his part to prove it. We would like to announce that we will seek for our legal rights as this accusation is an attempt to defame our company. Zaman Co ltd is a private company and is bound to Cambodian law and constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. We wonder how a foreign ambassador can blame a local company without solid evidence.
Chairman, Zaman Co., Ltd