July 30, 2016

Turkish schools ‘will not be closed’: Indonesian Minister

The Culture and Education Ministry has ensured that it will not close nine Indonesian educational institutions accused of being affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, who has been labelled a terrorist by the Turkish government.

“Since 2015, these schools have been operating independently. Their Turkish teachers are not working under the Pacific Countries Social and Economic Solidarity Association [PASIAD] but on their behalf, under cooperation with foundations of the schools and in line with work permit procedures as foreign workers,” Culture and Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy said after he visited Sekolah Kharisma Bangsa in South Tangerang on Friday.

On Thursday, the Turkish Embassy in Indonesia stated nine Turkish international schools in the country were related to Gulen, who had been accused by Ankara of having masterminded the recent coup attempt in Turkey. It was stated the schools were operating under the PASIAD, a foundation associated with Gulen.

The schools are Kharisma Bangsa bilingual boarding school in South Tangerang; Pribadi bilingual boarding school in Depok, West Java; Pribadi bilingual boarding school in Bandung, West Java; Semesta bilingual boarding school in Semarang, Central Java; Kesatuan Bangsa bilingual boarding school in Yogyakarta; Sragen bilingual boarding school in Sragen, Central Java; Fatih boy’s school in Aceh, Fatih girl’s school in Aceh and Banua bilingual boarding school in South Kalimantan.

Muhadjir further said even though education was his responsibility, he would also coordinate with the Foreign Ministry in responding to the Turkish Embassy’s statement because it was related to inter-state affairs.

Published on The Jakarta Post, 30 July 2016, Saturday