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Saturday, July 30, 2016

COUP CHALLENGE!!! Turkey Allegedly Asks Nigeria To Shut Down Turkish Colleges

The Turkish government has asked the federal government to close down all the Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges (NTIC) in Nigeria, saying they belong to Fetullah Gulen, who it accused of sponsoring the July 15 failed military coup in that country.

The country's Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, disclosed this while hosting the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central).

"We have formally and verbally made our demand to the Nigerian government through the Foreign Affairs Minister. My country's Minister of Foreign Affairs has spoken to Mr. Geoffrey Onyema on this. We are requesting for the close down of all the 17 schools," he said.

Cakil, who described Nigeria as his country's strategic partner, alleged that the schools belonged to Gulen's movement, "a cult of personality that runs a secretive transitional network aiming to overthrow the democratic secular regime in Turkey."
He said the confessions of the suspects arrested over the failed coup had shown that the movement is a terrorist group.

"All the schools in Nigeria belong to the Gulen movement and not the Turkish government. They are using the schools to recruit followers for terrorism. This is threatening the peace in our country as they are using funds they are generating in Nigeria for terrorism," he said.
He said his country had closed down 15 universities and all other schools belonging to the movement in Turkey.

"Gulen is a terrorist organization using rhetoric of dialogue, peace and partnership to deceive people. It is being presented as a kind of Muslim missionary but they are abusing the religion.
"They misled the public by putting Turkey in the name of their school. We don't have schools in Nigeria, we have in other countries but not in Nigeria. Gulen movement staged a coup and they failed, "he said.

He added:"Investigations prior to the coup attempt had revealed that the followers of the Gulen group infiltrated into various state structures including the police, army and judiciary."
Responding, Senator Sani, who said he was at the embassy in his personal capacity, urged the federal government to look into the demand of the Turkish government.

"I'm here in my personal capacity as a friend of the Turks. The resistance of the Turks and mass protests that trailed the coup has become a source of inspiration to other countries to stand up and defend democracy whenever it is facing threats , "he said.
He said if the coup had succeeded in Turkey, democracy would have been under threat in other countries.
It's a smear campaign against us – NTIC

When contacted by telephone, the spokesperson of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), Mr. Cemal Yigit, said there was a deliberate attempt by the Turkish government to smear the image of the colleges by linking them to the failed coup plotters in Turkey. He said he was not aware of any move by the Nigerian authorities to shut down the colleges.

"I am not aware of the information but it is possible since that is how they do the defamation campaign. It is so unfortunate that the smear attack is even reaching Nigeria. Nigeria is a sovereign country and is as if the Turkish Ambassador has the luxury of giving Nigerian authorities instructions on the place which employed about 2,000 Nigerians."

He said the colleges and all other business ventures affiliated to them in Nigeria were functioning.
"Let me say that the NTIC, Nizamiye Hospital, Nigeria Turkish Nile University under the First Surat Group of Companies are privately invested here by private investors. These groups of companies have nothing to do with the Turkish government and they are non-governmental and non-political companies. Their responsibility is to the Nigerian authorities.  

"The schools and hospitals are open; there is no way they could be closed. This is just misinformation disseminated by the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria."

He said the colleges haven't received any letters concerning the matter from any Nigerian institution so far.

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