Pakistan – Side effects of the coup in Turkey


Date posted: August 20, 2016

Waqar Gillani

Muhammad Aziz, a private company employee in Islamabad, is concerned about the education of his two sons studying in PakTurk International Schools System. “It is astonishing that a political regime in Turkey is following its political opponents across the world to make itself more powerful,” he says.

The Turkish government is pressing the government of Pakistan either to close down these schools or remove the current management which it claims is influenced by Fatehullah Gullen ideology. Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly blamed America and Gullen for conspiring against his regime.

The pressure on Islamabad and other countries to close down or take action against the schools that support the Gullen movement is part of Erdogan’s global campaign of chasing his opponents.

“I have asked my children many times and they do not know anything about Gullen or his movement. What do my children or Pakistani students have to do with this internal movement in Turkey? What we want is quality education and that we are getting through these schools,” says Aziz, continuing that he never thought that the Turkish government would ever try to clamp down on such schools on political grounds. “This is awful.”

PakTurk International Schools and Colleges are among the pioneer Turkish educational institutions in Pakistan. The schools, currently run by PakTurk Education Foundation, started in Pakistan in 1995 with one school in Islamabad. PakTurk International Cag Educational Foundation (PakTurk ICEF), an international Turkish non-government organization, started this school system in Pakistan.

The schools were initially meant to educate the Afghan refugees. With the passage of time, it became a successful venture. Currently, the PakTurk Education Foundation has 26 main schools, some with subsidiary branches, 11,000 students, 1,500 teachers and 130 Turkish staff.

The Foundation is imparting education from preschool to grade 12 according to Pakistani law and curriculum.

According to reports, the non-government organisations, following Gullen’s movement and ideology, are running schools in as many as 110 countries of the world. PakTurk International Schools and Colleges registered under the Companies Ordinance, 1984 aim to promote education and social development — to establish, manage, maintain, administer, promote and subsidise educational institutions.

PakTurk Education Foundation has moved court against such attempts to close down their schools. On August 7, Islamabad High Court has given three weeks to the federal government to respond on the issue.

After the failed coup, the Turkish Foreign Minister arrived in Pakistan on a one day visit and called for closing down these schools, hoping that “Pakistan shall support Turkey in this regards.”

“We don’t have any link to the political movement. We are not affiliated or connected with any individual, movement or organisation, whether political, religious or denominational, nor are we funded by any movement,” the Foundation maintains.

After the failed coup, according to media reports, thousands of people have been detained and sacked by now for supporting or liking Gullen’s ideology and his Hizmet movement. Erdogan, who is ruling Turkey for more than a decade now, is accused of becoming autocrat through his political moves.

After the coup, on August 1, a high level Turkish delegation visited Pakistan pressing Islamabad to support Ankara’s global crackdown against Gullen’s movement and his supporters.

“This is a very strange revenge of a political regime,” says a Turkish teacher on condition of anonymity. “He went against the movement because it called for truth. The movement was not opposing Erdogan but called for bringing the truth regarding corruption scandals to the surface which the rulers did not like.”

The teacher, asking not to be named, says everyone in Turkey knows Erdogan himself was supporter of Gullen and his movement. “There will be hardly any house of educated family in Turkey which does not have Gullen’s books,” the teacher maintains. “Also, Erdogan’s own children have studied in Hizmet movement schools. Should he arrest his children too or should he expel them from his house?”

The teacher says the Turkish staff in PakTurk schools is under threat. “It is a bloodless genocide that is coming up after a failed coup whose investigations are still awaited,” he says. “We are not afraid but we are concerned.”

On the other hand, PakTurk International Schools and Colleges’ Parent-Teacher Association expressed concern that the government may hand over the school management to “a political entity”. The association has demanded of the government not to make an unwise political move, and investigate if there is anything wrong with their curriculum.

“Turkey is a friendly country and we respect its democracy. But we should consider the future of 11,000 students of these schools,” the association expresses.

Source: The International News , August 21, 2016


Related News

Alleged Gülen sympathizers in prison banned from communication with outside world

The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has prohibited individuals in Silivri Prison who are currently under arrest over their alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement from communicating with the outside world during an ongoing state of emergency, the Sözcü daily reported on Monday.

Nigerian govt demands immediate resolution from Turkey

The Federal Government of Nigeria is demanding an explanation and immediate resolution following the deportation of almost 50 Nigerian students at the Ataturk Airport in Turkey. Just after the coup, the Turkish Government had requested that 17 Turkish schools be closed down for their ties to the Gulen Movement and the Nigerian Government didn’t accept it.

Parents protest deportation of Pak-Turk School’s teachers, staff

Slamming the government’s decision of deporting Turkish teachers and staff from the country, parents said “Pak-Turk Schools were founded without any financial assistance of Turkey and Pakistani government but founded by the philanthropist donations of people of Pakistan and Turkey” adding that these schools were the property of Pakistani people.

Turkey’s failed coup could worsen Nigeria’s recession

For an economy almost in recession, these kind of controversies could be worrisome. This is actually not the time to close down any legitimate business in Nigeria. Turkish schools and their promoters have not really given the Nigerian government any reason to worry. They have been law abiding citizens in Nigeria.

Hee Joong: Differences a richness, not a source of fear

A group of South Korean religious leaders visited the Intercultural Dialogue Platform (KADİP) in İstanbul on Saturday to discuss interfaith matters and share ideas about Fethullah Gülen, a well-respected Turkish intellectual and scholar who was recently awarded the Manhae Peace Prize for his contribution to world peace.

Afghan minister says proud his children studied at Turkish schools

The Turkish schools were established by educational volunteers of the faith-based Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement and inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Latest News

Pakistan admits they secretly deported Turkish family wanted by Erdogan govt

Pakistani Govt deports abducted Turkish teacher and family despite UN protections

Turkish family, kidnapped in Pakistan, deported to Turkey Saturday morning

Another woman faces detention just after giving birth: opposition deputy

Turkey Has Stolen The Future Of A Medical Student From Uganda

Pak-Turk Parents Association calls for immediate recovery of ex-principal, his family

Human Rights Watch: People being tortured, abducted in post-coup Turkey

“We will root out every single Gülenist from the Balkans,” Erdoğan says in Serbia

A Turkish family has disappeared in Pakistan, and suspicion turns to intelligence agencies

In Case You Missed It

Gülen’s message on ISIL in UK-based Guardian newspaper

Graduation ceremony of Turkish School in Kenya

A Turkish Recluse Bridges the Western and Muslim Worlds

66,000 students relocated after Turkish government shut down 15 universities over coup charges

Niagara Foundation Peace and Dialogue Award Honorees Recognized in Chicago

Kimse Yok Mu sends aid materials with 24 trucks for Syrian refugees

Turkish schools important for northern Iraq’s future

Report: Erdoğan’s anti-Turkish school rhetoric damages Turkish-African ties

Bosnian Schools Feel Heat From War on ‘Gulenists’

Copyright 2017 Hizmet News