The Nigerian/Turkish Universities/Colleges have described as spurious and baseless the request of the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, for the 17 schools owned by Turkish nationals in Nigeria to be shut.
The ambassador made the request for the closure of the 17 schools when the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, paid him a courtesy visit. He had linked the schools to the failed July 15 coup in Turkey. He said the Turkish Government had nothing to do with the schools.
According to the ambassador, investigations by the Turkish government showed that a movement led by US-based Fethullah Gulen was responsible for the failed coup attempt, which claimed over 200 lives.
But the Nigerian/ Turkish Schools in a statement on Friday signed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Turkish International Colleges, Orhan Kertim, said the call is not only baseless,, unfounded but also in poor taste.
He said the schools are not a Turkish government run institutions but a privately-run schools by a group of Turkish investors.
Kertim said Nigeria is a sovereign country and that the call by the ambassador Is not only an affront on Nigeria’s sovereignty but a display of crass ignorance on the part of Cakil.
He said the NTIC schools are non-political and non-partisan and they are “Turkish in name but Nigerian in deeds”.
The Turkish ambassador had said the Turkish government was dissociating itself from any school bearing the country’s name in Nigeria, adding that while the country had schools in other countries, it had none in Nigeria.
“We are requesting the Nigerian Government to close down the schools.
“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”.