Turkish authorities have deported 5 Yemeni students at official universities which the authorities have recently shut down for links with US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Tens of Yemeni students in Turkey are facing the risk of deportation for being students at universities administered by Fethullah Gulen’s movement.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to Turkish Government to release over 50 Nigerian students being held in detention. The House called on the federal government to urgently deploy all diplomatic options to ensure their immediate release.
Abuja – The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to quickly intervene and ensure the rescue of 50 Nigerian students detained by Turkish government. According to Rep. Aminu Suleiman, the Turkish Ambassador in Nigeria had requested the Nigerian authorities to close down 17 Turkish schools in Nigeria for alleged link with Hizmet movement.
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.
Turkey’s relations with African countries have been strained following demands by the Turkish government to close Gulenist schools in Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia. After the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, which the Turkish government has accused Gulen of masterminding, Turkey’s ambassador to Nigeria called for 17 Gulenist schools in the country to be closed.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sola Enikanolaye, has said that the Nigerian students who were arrested in Turkey for an alleged role in the July coup attempt in Turkey may have been paying for the refusal of the Nigerian government to shut down some Turkish schools and institutions in Nigeria.
Nigerian students in Turkey are in hiding following the government’s crackdown on them. “We are scared of leaving our rooms for fear of being arrested and charged with terrorism, or deported. Most of us are in our final year. What do we do?” students said.
The Turkish government is in a drive to deport all Nigerian students at universities linked to Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet movement. Gulen is an Islamic cleric whom President Erdogan of Turkey considers as his strongest rival. After the botched July 15 coup, Erdogan launched a massive crackdown on the investments of Gulen’s followers. He blamed Gulen for the coup, but he has denied the allegation.
When Behlul Basaran arrived Nigeria in 2000 from Turkey, he was armed with a single piece of luggage, an enthusiastic spirit and hope. Inside his luggage was his letter of scholarship for a university education from the Hizmet Movement, which had started building a relationship and foundation for quality education with Nigeria.
Turkish President Erdogan on Tuesday called on world leaders to fight against US based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen over what he (Erdogan) described as an act of terrorism orchestrated by Gulen against Turkey. Addressing Presidents and Prime Ministers of civilised regimes of the world at the 68th UN General Assembly, Erdogan demonstrated before his colleagues very high level of incapacitation and inability to stick to simple ratified conventions to which Turkey is signatory.
On a recent trip to Spain, I picked a copy of the International New York Times, and saw a story that shocked me greatly. It said Mr Erdogan had ordered the release of 38,000 prisoners serving various jail terms, for different offences, in order to make space for the so-called coup plotters who had no space in Turkey’s overflowing prison. I was totally shocked by the news because I can’t imagine a situation where convicted criminals are being set free just so political opponents can be locked up.
The Turkish schools were recently steeped in controversy after the Turkish government linked to being part of activities of self-exiled clergy Fethullah Gulen whose global network is accused by the Ankara government for fomenting terrorism, and money laundering.
Fethulah Gulen did not fall from the sky or moon, he has a history that is in the public domain, the question is why did it take Erdogan too long to realize that Gulen is a terrorist? All through the years of robust relationship between Fethulah and Erdogan there was no accusation that Gulen was a terrorist, why now?