Lahore, November 16, 2016: On the request of the Erdogan administration, 108 Turkish teachers and their family members have been denied the extension to their visas as the Pak-Turk schools were run by US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Erdogan blamed for the July’s failed military coup.
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The administration of the Pak-Turk Schools has expressed shock over the decision of the government it believes has been taken under pressure.
“Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges are extremely concerned over the abrupt decision of the government,” Pak-Turk Education Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Alamgir Khan told PTI.
“Since we have removed all Turkish principals with the Pakistanis and publicly announced that it has no connection with Gulen movement there has been no justification for this decision,” said an official of the Pak-Turk Schools.
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He said, “Now these schools have been operating under a local NGO registered with the Pakistani government.”
“However, these schools will remain functional under the Pakistani administration,” he said.
In August, Turkey’s visiting Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was promised by Pakistan that it would investigate the network of schools Ankara wanted to be shut for its alleged links with Gulen
“It is not secret that Gulen’s organization has institutions or their presence in Pakistan and in many other countries. I am sure the necessary measures will be taken. We have to be very careful with such organizations and their causing risk and threat for the security and stability of every country that they have a presence,” Cavusoglu had said.
“Initially funding was made from Turkey to establish state of art campuses in Pakistan. But for the last 15 years or so it is generating its own funds here, offering free education and boarding facilities to 35 per cent of the students besides awarding foreign scholarships to them,” the official said.
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The chain of 28 schools and colleges is functioning in Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Khairpur, Hyderabad,Jamshoro and Quetta. Almost, 11,000 students from pre-school to ‘A’ levels are studying there.
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