Notwithstanding such aims and the benefits to Turkish citizens and others around the globe who enjoy scholarship and the benefits of quality education, all such pro-Gülen educational organisations, including the ones established in Nigeria have been branded as enemies by the Turkish government. “I have never heard that the Turkish schools in Nigeria have done anything illegally since the time they began operation in Nigeria; I attended one of such excellent schools so, I see no reason why the school should be closed,” Mohamed said.
The recent controversy that has emerged regarding the PakTurk school system is troubling to say the least. PakTurk schools started popping up all over Pakistan during last decade. Turkey has always carried a strong brand value in Pakistan and it is therefore not surprising that the school system ostensibly embodying the best of Pakistan and Turkey was an instantaneous hit with parents.
Bekir Cinar was working as an assistant professor at the political sciences department of Suleyman Sah University when it fell victim to the crackdown. He says that many academics with different views were working at the university. Cinar is currently continuing his scientific work at a British university. He considers this a major loss for Turkey, not least because it takes 20 to 30 years to become an academic.
The petitioners submitted before the court that Pak-Turk schools had been imparting quality education to hundreds of Pakistani children. They said that the forced deportation of Turkish teachers and other staff members was illegal as they had been provided protection under the Constitution.
Petitioner counsel Qazi Muhammad Anwar argued that all the Turkish teachers are very peaceful people who have committed no crime in Turkey as well as here in Pakistan.” He prayed the bench to suspend the federal government’s notice and stop deportation of the Turkish teachers and their families. The bench accepted the request and restrained the deportation of Pak-Turk schools’ staff.
Surely nobody at the joint session really believed Mr Erdogan’s warning about the threat the so called Gullen Network presents Pakistan. No doubt the Turkish president really believes the Network – which ran schools here till just before his visit – is just as dangerous for Pakistan as al Qaeda, etc.
“I know I can’t do anything to persuade the federal government to take back its decision of expelling the Turkish teachers and their families from the country,” a senior Pakistani teacher told PTI. “I must say last Friday was the saddest day in our campus in Lahore as all Turkish students were literally crying,” she said.
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.
Around 400 Turks living in Pakistan have been ordered by the Pakistani government to leave in next three days. Isn’t it deplorable that the government has to do so only to bring a radiant smile on Erdogan’s face? Is Erdogan’s smile worth more than the tears of Pak-Turk students?
In sharp contrast to Boko Haram, there is a faith-inspired group, a civil society movement that engages in education, dialogue and charitable activities and has grown out of Muslim grass roots. Check out how disturbed Boko Haram is about Hizmet’s education campaign, which offers opportunities for both boys and girls. Check out how ISIL publications outline exactly how they hate the Hizmet movement’s efforts and why they see Hizmet as their “enemies.”
In Pakistan, where more than 27 million children remain out of school, every teacher and educational institution matters. The Turkish non-governmental schools in question are ranked among the best in terms of in infrastructure, as well as quality of education and character-building.
The Pak-Turk school network students and their parents’ protested against the likely closure of the educational set-up following the two-day state visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the federal government’s decision to deport teachers affiliated with Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges.
Authorities have ordered teachers with alleged links to Turkish cleric Gulen to leave the country as Turkey’s President Erdogan visits Pakistan. Experts say the move is aimed at appeasing Ankara. Pakistani liberal activists say Islamabad should not encourage Erdogan by obliging his government’s unlawful and authoritarian demands. Promotion of secular and democratic values is the only way forward, they say.
“PakTurk International Schools and Colleges are deeply concerned over the abrupt decision of the Government requiring the Turkish teachers, management and their family members numbering to approximately 450 individuals including the school-going children, infants and ladies to leave the country within three days – an extraordinary time constraint – in consequence of non-approval of their requests for extension of visa.