LAHORE: A day ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan on Wednesday (today), the government reportedly has decided to deport the Turkish nationals associated with Pak-Turk schools and colleges in the country.
The Turkish nationals have been directed to leave the country by November 20. State Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman and Interior Ministry spokesperson Sarfaraz did not respond to repeated calls and text messages by this scribe seeking official point of view regarding the latest development. However the management of Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges confirmed the development.
The Board of Directors also issued a public announcement on the official website, “PakTurk International Schools and Colleges are deeply concerned over the abrupt decision of the government requiring the Turkish teachers, management and their family members numbering to approximately 450 individuals including the school-going children, infants and ladies to leave the country within three days – an extraordinary time constraint – in consequence of non-approval of their requests for extension of visa.”
The statement also reads, “We are in touch with the related authorities and are constantly assessing the situation relying on the commitment of the Government of Pakistan’s concerned authorities through their written comments filed before the Honorable Islamabad High Court that they do not intend to take any adverse action against PakTurk International Schools & Colleges across Pakistan.”
It is pertinent to mention here that in July this year, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin at media briefing on the developments in Turkey after failed attempt to topple the government had said that Turkey “called on all friendly countries to prevent activities of this (Gulen’s) group” and “close down institutions run by Fethullah Gülen.” Fethullah Gülen, a US-based religious leader was accused of masterminding the recent coup attempt in Turkey.