Nigerian govt demands immediate resolution from Turkey


Date posted: October 4, 2016

Fu’ad Lawal

The Federal Government has demanded that Turkey resolve the crisis that saw Nigerian students being held then deported back to Nigeria.

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.

Following a failed coup attempt in July, the Government of Turkey had only one organisation to blame; an rival and opposition, The Gulen Movement. This led to a crackdown in every sector from Education to the Military.

One of the schools affected in the crackdown is Fatih University, one of Turkey’s best private universities set up by Fethullah Gulen, the founder of the Gulen Movement.

It is this school dozens of Nigerians students alongside students of other countries were resuming into when they were held at the airport for alleged affiliation with a terrorist organisation.

turkey-deports-nigerian-students

A relative of one of the students who spoke to ThisDay said:

“Upon arrival at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, they were all escorted to a room and their passport confiscated by Turkish police.

When they enquired why they were clamped in a dirty room, the police said they are students of a terrorist organisation. They offered to transfer them to government schools but on the condition that we will pay same fees as private universities.”

And what was the first response when the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs first contacted?

“I am hearing the news of the deportation for the first time from you, but I will follow up to get the facts and we are summoning him (Turkish ambassador) again  to demand an explanation (for the deportation.)”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sola Enikanolaiye, said:

“We summoned the Turkish ambassador to the ministry on Friday and demanded the immediate release of the students. We also rejected the condition imposed on the students that they should return to Nigeria and obtain a fresh visa in line with their admission to a new university. We insisted that they must be issued the new visa in Turkey there.”

It will be recalled that just after the coup, the Turkish Government had requested that 17 Turkish schools be closed down for their ties to the Gulen Movement, a request which the Nigerian Government didn’t accept.

Could this in anyway lead to strained ties between both nations? It’s kind of hard to tell, but in the end, it is hoped that free flow of people, ideas, and capital will trump politics here.

Source: Pulse , October 4, 2016


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