The Turkish Conglomerates in Nigeria have expressed readiness to be investigated of any alleged terrorism claim by their home government, saying in their 18 years of existence in Nigeria, the group had always operated within the laws of the host country.
Their position flowed from the call by the Turkish Envoy to Nigeria, Hankan Cakil, that all the interests owned by the UFUK Dialogue Foundation, a group within the Hezmet Movement, under the leadership of a philosopher, Fethullah Gulen, be shut.
Gulen and his movement are being accused of being brains behind the last month’s failed military coup in Turkey.
Cakil had said: “I have requested officially, both orally and in writing, the closure of these schools. Also, I have sent a letter to Mr Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Minister) and Mr Abba Kyari (Chief of Staff to the President) about this subject and requested their support for the closure of the schools,” threatening to force the removal of Turkish names from the concerns.
Dismissing the claims in an interview with our reporter, media representative and media platform coordinator, Cemal Yigit, said they were ready for probe if the need arises.
Yigit said: “Our schools are non government, non political and we are not terrorists, we are based in Nigeria and registered with the Nigerian authorities . We are Nigerian companies and schools and we are only accountable to the Nigerian authorities.
“And one last thing, we are inviting and calling on Nigerian government to run any kind of investigation a, scrutiny and enquiry in any way that they like. We have confidence in ourselves that we are not involved in any wrongdoing.”
“We have been operating in this country for more than 18 years functioning and contributing in education, in charity and in dialogue. My question is; in the 18 years , the authorities in Nigeria, ministries , intelligence , whoever is responsible for security in Nigeria, let’s ask them , have we ever been involved in any crime, and if we did, what are they?
“You know, it is even an insult on Nigeria . Is it that Nigeria Intelligence Agencies are not doing their work, is it that the police, the military and the ministries don’t do their own duties? Is it that they don’t know what they are doing that they are today now being instructed by a Turkish envoy to close down schools.
“I feel like Nigerian, I feel welcome because we are very active in the society and as a Nigerian, I will say who are you to give me those instructions. Yes, because of the politically motivated reasons, Erdogan designated Hizmet Movement as a terrorist movement and Fetullan Gulem as a terrorist.”
“It is so clear that what Erdogan is doing this because he knows Hizmet Movement has followers that are educated and sophisticated. He is just trying to get rid of Hizmet Movement in all countries , not only in Turkey but also to convince other nations to close down their activities.”
Published on Today, 3 August 2016, Wednesday