Hakan Cakil, Turkish ambassador to Nigeria, has called on the federal government to close 17 Turkish schools in Nigeria over alleged link with a movement involved in the failed coup attempt in Turkey. Personally, I haven’t heard of any “Turkish” Schools in Nigeria before now.
Cakil made the call on Wednesday when Shehu Sani, vice-chairman, senate committee on foreign affairs, paid him a courtesy visit. According to the ambassador, investigations by the Turkish government have linked the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO) to the failed coup attempt, which claimed over 300 lives. He said the Turkish government was dissociating itself from any school bearing the country’s name in Nigeria, adding that while the country had schools in other countries, it had none in Nigeria.
Let’s ponder on this for a while…Does this mean there are some “Nigerian-Schools” in Turkey? Well, if the so called Turkish Schools in Nigeria aren’t own by the Turkish Government, then who owns them? Ok, If the Turkish Government aren’t responsible for the establishment of these schools, why do they think they can call for their closeure? How were the “investigations”, linking these schools to Gulen carried out?
Here is a twist, Speaking with TheCable in an interview on Friday, Cemal Yigit, spokesman of Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), said Gulen does not own the Turkish schools in Nigeria, and that the schools are the property of private investors – some of them Nigerians. He said that the Turkish government was on a purge of the opposition in Turkey, and that it was trying to decimate any organisation that shared the philosophy of Gulen by tagging them terrorists.
READ ALSO: The Turkey Coup Purge
There have already been concerns raised by International Bodies about the recent abuse of Human Rights by the Turkish Government following the recent coup. The Turkish Government may have the right to close schools in Turkey but I don’t think they can call for any form of closure on Nigerian Soil. We sympathize with them, following their recent misfortune but if the Nigerian Government intends to close any school(s) on Nigerian Soil, it has to be on their own terms.
Everyone was shaken by the coup but this doesn’t give anyone the right to ride on our soveriegty as a nation… No be we plan coup, so make una no come use una reggae spoil our small blues… Nigeria has enough issues as it is, “Turkish Schools”, aren’t one of them.