In 2010, I completed my university education, and thought time had come to join the journey of peace and safety. I was just 24. Though I had long time ahead, yet there was no reason to be late. In order to sow the seeds of love through teaching mathematics, I arrived in Khaipur. It was an extraordinary experience.
Since the ill-intentioned Maarif Foundation was found by Erdoğan regime in wake of failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, just for aiming at taking over the successful schools operated by Turkish civic society, Gülen movement, the step has not been welcomed by the affected schools in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani has agreed to hand over the Afghan-Turk schools, previously run by a pro-Gulen institution, to the Turkish Education Foundation which is a governmental institution. This step has, however, not been welcomed by the affected schools. Officials of the schools have warned that the move would lead to closing the schools and damage the quality of education.
Justice Aamer Farooq of the Islamabad High Court on Friday disposed of a petition filed by Pak-Turk Educational Foundation against the possible handover of its schools to another Turkish educational network, the Maarif Foundation.
Renowned Scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand was the chief guest and distributed the certificates, plaques, and cash prizes among winners. Addressing the ceremony, Mubarakmand said that PakTurk International Schools and Colleges have been striving hard to provide quality education to the Pakistani youth since 1995.
Bilal, a parent, told media that the network consisted of 28 schools and colleges in 10 cities of the country with a staff strength of 1700 including 108 Turkish teachers, teaching around 12,000 students from pre-school to A level. Since 1995, he added, the schools have been giving quality education to Pakistani students with no political motivation or illegal activity.
“All the Turkish teachers and administrators have left Pakistan and the schools are being run by Pakistanis,” said one of the parents Syed Amir Abdullah. He added that the government still seemed hell bent on ruining these institutions by handing them over to an ‘infamous organisation’ which has no experience of running them.
Parents of students of Pak-Turk schools and colleges blasted the Pakistan government for handing over the education system to a Turkish nonprofit organization called Maarif Foundation. They said that the schools and colleges would suffer if handed-over to the “poorly-equipped and infamous” Maarif Foundation.
As many as 108 Turkish employees of the Pak Turk Schools, along with their families, have been in the United Nations’ protection after Pakistani authorities denied them an extension in their visas to work in the country. The applicants had told UNHCR they feared arrest, coercion and torture by the Erdogan government in Turkey in case the Pakistani government forcibly deported them to Istanbul.
The R. Shahin Friendship School in Batumi, among the most in-demand schools in the whole country, was denied authorization by the General Educational Authorization Council of Georgia. Fingers are pointed at Turkey’s Erdogan as he is increasing political pressure on the countries where his arch-rival, Fethullah Gulen, still maintains a foothold.
A visiting Turkish university director who had yet to be convicted of any crime was finally released from the Sungai Buloh Prison after being conferred refugee status, which has been conferred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR identification supersedes the cancellation of his visa.
Vietnam feels like an odd refuge for those who put their faith in one of Turkey’s most controversial political figures—a man who preaches peace, but has been accused of fomenting war. For Yildirim and others like him, however, it may prove the safest place in the world.