July 29, 2016

Disregard call to close Turkish schools – Proprietors tell Nigerian govt

Owners of the Nigeria Turkish International College have urged Nigeria to disregard the call by the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, to close its schools in the country.

The proprietors said Cakil’s statement was flawed with ulterior motives.

The proprietors of the schools made the call through a statement signed by its Managing Director, Orhan Kermit, on Friday.

Kermit said the school did not have anything to do with the Turkish government; rather it is a privately funded institution by a group of Turkish investors.

He described the school as only Turkish in Name but Nigerian in deeds. He said the school was founded in 1998 with a philosophy hinged on dialogue, love and tolerance.

“The general public is at the moment urged to ignore and disregard the statement by the Turkish ambassador. Our school is fully functional and would continue to be,” Kermit wrote in the statement.

The Government of Turkey through its ambassador, Cakil had on Thursday said it alerted the Nigerian Government to the existence of schools owned by suspected terrorists.

The ambassador had called on the country to shut down the schools, just like the Turkish government did in Turkey.

The ambassador had held that there are 17 of such schools in Nigeria, which bear the name of Turkey” but were not owned by the European country.

Cakil said the institutions, which ranged from schools to hospitals, were allegedly owned by the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation.

A document released by the Turkish embassy had listed the indicted schools and institutions as Surat Educational Limited, Abuja; Nigerian-Turkish International School, in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe, Ogun and Lagos; and the Nigerian-Turkish Nile University, Abuja.

It had also indicted The Association of Businessmen and Investors of Nigeria and Turkey/Abinat, Abuja and Lagos; Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, Abuja; Nigerian-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital, Abuja; and Vefa Travel Agency, Abuja.

Ambassador Cakil had made the call while speaking to the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, when the latter paid the diplomat a visit at his Abuja office.

Published on Today, 29 July 2016, Friday