Outside the Karachi Press Club, Turkish residents release doves as a sign of peace; 25 Turkish teachers plea for safety in Pakistan. These Turkish families have lived here for over two decades, teaching at a network of international schools led by Fethullah Gülen, a moderate Islamic cleric from Turkey, who currently lives in the US.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) sought record of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of planes arrived and departed for Turkey from Allama Iqbal International Airport on 13-14 October, on Tuesday. The record is sought to investigate the forced deportation of Kacmaz family, despite them being under UN protection.
Dimitris Christopolous, FIDH President: The Pakistani government’s deportation of a Turkish family should set off alarm bells. The Pakistani government must ensure the protection of the other 285 individuals who risk being deported to Turkey and put an end to the blatant disregard of its international obligations.
The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought records from the Civil Aviation Authority regarding the arrival of a special Turkish plane late on October 13 to take a Turkish teacher back to his home country. The court had stayed the deportation of Mesut Kacmaz of Pak-Turk Schools and Colleges, who was among dozens of Turkish school staffers that had been granted temporary refugee status.
The abducted Turkish teacher Mesut Kacmaz and his family were reportedly deported by Pakistani government to Turkey on early Saturday. Lahore High Court had asked Interior Ministry to locate and release the family and not deport them until further notice.
The Pak-Turk Parents Association on Wednesday demanded an immediate release of the former principal of Pak-Turk School Mesut Kacmaz, who, along with his family, was reportedly kidnapped by unknown people from his residence in Wapda Town a little over two weeks ago.
“The police are expressing ignorance about the picking up of Mr. Mesut, so who did this?” asked Muhammed Zubair, a doctor whose children attended the PakTurk school in Peshawar and who represents the parent-teacher association. “This is a dangerous trend and will send a negative image of Pakistan abroad.”
President Erdogan is urging many countries, including Pakistan, to close these schools and deport the Turkish staff. So far, only four out of 176 countries, where international Turkish schools are located, have given a positive response to Erdogan’s demand.
The Senate Committee on Human Rights (HRs) of Pakistan on Thursday took up the issue of the disappeared Turkish family working for Pak-Turk Schools from Lahore and decided to summon relevant officials of federal and provincial governments in its next meeting.
It is a shameful way to thank those [Turkish teachers] who have worked hard to teach our children and spread quality education. All these people have been living in Pakistan legally and have been contributing to our society through their educational services. We should treat them with the respect and honour that they deserve.