The Foreign Ministry told that “at present all Sapat schools function in the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic in full compliance with the current legislation of the republic” and that their transfer to the Turkish Maarif Foundation “is out of [the] question.”
When Atambayev got sick while in Turkey in September, Erdoğan ordered hospitals across the country to refuse him medical services. Consequently, Atambayev went to Moscow for treatment. The deputy who made this claim also stated that once Erdoğan turns his back on someone, he would never again consider that person a friend.
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbaev rather quickly defused the problem with Turkey by making a visit to Ankara to meet with President Erdogan. Nazarbaev did not agree to close down the Gulen schools in Kazakhstan, but he did promise to carefully scrutinize those running the schools and those teaching in them.
The official announcement did not provide any details about the visit, but Nazarbayev is expected to smooth over any disagreements between the two Turkic countries following the failed coup. The Kazakh-Turkish schools employ 1,124 teachers, of whom 1,030 are Kazakh citizens (91.7%) and 94 are Turkish citizens (8.3%).” Kazakhstan also has the Suleyman Demirel University, opened in Almaty in 1996.
Kazakh authorities said the Gülen schools would remain open. In a statement, the Education Ministry said “These schools (27) will be working as they used to.” The schools were established through a bilateral deal signed by Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev and then-Turkish President Turgut Özal shortly after independence, according to Akipress. Both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are remaining firm that they will not bend to Ankara’s will on this issue.
If someone wants to help Kyrgyzstan, this help should be unconditional, the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev said. “If you set some conditions; then, please, do not help us at all. We are not dictated anything… Do not tell us what we should do. We do not need such aid; then, take it away,” the president added.
An analyst Dosmir Uzbekov believes that the closure of a wide network of schools and high schools “Sebat” will cause outrage among the population. “My son has graduated from Turkish lyceum, and I am very pleased with the education he received there. “Sebat” has become an inherent part of the education system of Kyrgyzstan.
In the eyes of the government of Turkey, where Gülen is from, the sprawling building immaculately cast in the bright colors of the red Kyrgyz flag is little short of an incubator of terrorism and plots to subvert the state. Ankara’s antagonism to Gülen’s international influence has deep roots, and the Turkish government’s attempt to link the educator with the recent failed coup is intensifying that animosity. But Kyrgyzstan, which is host to at least a dozen Gülen-linked schools and one university, is holding its ground — up to a point.