Nigerian students lament harassment, detention by Turkish authorities

Date posted: October 7, 2016

Akin Oyewobi and Aminu Adamu

Some Nigerians studying in Turkey have pleaded with the Nigerian government to intervene and halt the continued arrest and detention of their colleagues in the wake of the July failed coup in that country.

They also lamented the deportation of some of their colleagues by Turkish authorities.

No fewer than 50 Nigerians attending private schools in Turkey, including Fatih University, were recently deported by that country after the coup attempt.

Nigeria had ignored calls by the Turkish government to close down 17 Turkish schools in the country. The Turkish government alleged that the schools were linked to Fethullah Gülen, a man the Recep Erdogan-led government blamed for the failed coup.

Thousands of people working for organisations linked to Mr. Gulen have been arrested in a clampdown condemned by local and international rights groups as excessive.

One of the Nigerian students in Turkey, who does not want to be named for fear of being attacked, said in a Facebook post on behalf of his colleagues on Wednesday that the arrest and detention of Nigerian students in Turkey had continued unabated three months after the coup failed.

He said no fewer than 50 of the students had been arrested so far and detained under harsh conditions and that they were being denied access to their colleagues.

He said some of the students who were not deported or arrested were missing.

The student pleaded with PREMIUM TIMES to draw the attention of the Nigerian government to intervene immediately and save the students from further harassment.

“African students especially those from Nigeria are being hunted for. We are waiting for the arrest to get to our turn. Please pass this on to Nigerian government. Let them come to our aid before they charge us for treason,” he said in the post.

The student said the Nigerian detainees were being poorly treated.

“One of the detainees sneaked out to call me yesterday and said they are being treated badly,” he said.

“And the government is linking the student of the closed schools to FETO (an acronym Turkish government uses for organisations linked to Mr, Gulen).

“They told them that they are threat to the security of the country and they don’t trust them because they can be spies to the FETO group,” he said.

He further disclosed that two of the students who were trying to leave Istanbul for Nigeria to evade arrest were subsequently apprehended and detained at the airport for over an hour for questioning.

He said other nationalities were allowed without any interrogations.

The student also said he was not allowed to enter the airport after he was identified as a Nigerian though he did not have his international passport.

“I went to the airport but I wasn’t allowed to enter because I had no passport with me and was identified to be a Nigeria,” he said.

He however praised the Embassy of Nigeria in Turkey for responding to the predicament of the Nigerian students but lamented that the Turkish government was not cooperating with it.

According to him, the Turkish authorities refused to disclose any information to the embassy officials.

The source also said Nigerian students were transferred indiscriminately from the universities that were shut to other public schools after the failed coup.

Turkey closed scores of universities and schools linked to Mr. Gulen after the coup-

The Nigerian student stated that many of the students were also deported on arrival and that the Turkish authorities cancelled their resident permit due to closure of their universities.

“We the students from the closed universities were transferred to different public schools,” he said.

“And those students were treated like criminals and made to pay huge fine for entering Turkey.”

“The detainees confirmed to us that they are being handcuffed and they buy their food themselves. They are kept in dirty rooms. Right now we don’t even know where they are. They were asked to pay for their own lawyers,” the source said.

Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to speak with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on the matter were not successful.

The minister did not respond to calls to his mobile telephone neither did he reply to a text message sent to him.

However, the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said government had already initiated moves to halt the harassment of Nigerians in Turkey.

“The ministry of foreign affairs through the permanent secretary summoned the Turkish ambassador immediately the information was received,” Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa told PREMIUM TIMES.

“While both countries are working at resolving the issue through every possible diplomatic channels, the ministry of foreign affairs made it clear that such act against Nigerians will not be accepted.”

Source: Premium Times , October 6, 2016

Related News

78 detained for raising money for post-coup purge victims

At least 78 people who are accused of raising money for post-coup purge victims were detained in an Antalya-based operation into the Gülen movement on Thursday.

HAPPENING NOW: Police await outside hospital to detain woman who just gave birth

A group of police officers awaited outside of the Alanya Başkent Hospital in order to detain a woman who gave birth several hours ago, according to a tweet by former deputy Feyzi İşbaşaran. Fadime Günay, whose husband has recently been detained by police over alleged links to the Gulen movement, gave birth to a boy late on Sunday.

Hizmet school ready to pioneer education in Kurdish

Following the decision to allow education in languages other than Turkish in private schools, as part of the democratization package recently unveiled by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a private school run by Gülen movement volunteers said it is ready to start education in Kurdish once such a law is introduced.

Was there a sincere alliance between the Gulen Movement and Erdogan?

NRT correspondent Huner Anwer interviews Fethullah Gulen in his Pennsylvania residence ask the crucial question on alliance between the Gulen Movement and Erdogan. Gulen says, briefly, there has never been sincere alliance between them but the movement supported Erdogan as long as Erdogan stayed in line with democratic values and honored rule of law.

Yamanlar and Fatih High Schools’ success at International Science Olympiads

Yamanlar and Fatih Science High Schools won medals at the international physics, chemistry, biology and computer this summer as well. Sebahattin Kasap, CEO of Yamanlar Education Institutions, said; “207 out of 391 medals won so far at the international Olympiads by Turkish student won by Yamanlar Science High School students. We are happy to represent Turkey successfully”.

Retired on disability, former bomb disposal expert kept in jail for a month over Gülen links

Bilal Konakçı, a former bomb disposal expert for the İzmir Police Department who was retired after he lost his right hand and both eyes while trying to dispose of a bomb in 2009, was detained on Dec. 20 over links to the faith-based Gülen movement, and his wife is worried about his health as authorities refuse to allow the family to contact him.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Samanyolu high school ranks first in Infomatrix Asia and Pacific Olympics

Rumi Forum Hosts Religious Extremism Debate

“InnovAction for Poverty” International Research Paper Competition

Did you say extradition?

Turkish volunteer doctors build bridges between Tanzania and Turkey

Autistic children left unattended as teacher parents under arrest over alleged coup links

Bosnia rejects Turkey’s extradition request for journalist over Gülen links

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News