Gulen-run schools to rule agenda as Turkish FM arrives in Pakistan

Published: August 2, 2016
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. PHOTO: FILE

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in the capital on Monday on a two-day official visit for talks with Pakistani authorities on bilateral ties, as well as the regional security situation.

However, the focus of his visit will be on Turkey’s efforts to seek the closure of educational institutions and other business concerns run by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen in Pakistan.

Ankara claims that Gulen, who is living in self-imposed exile in the United States, was the alleged mastermind of the recent failed military coup plot in Turkey.

Fethullah Gulen, the arch-enemy of Turkey’s president

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the cleric’s followers for the rebellion and demanded his extradition, though Gulen has denied involvement and Washington has asked for evidence.

When asked about the Turkish demand for action against Gulen-run institutions, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria had said Islamabad was in contact with Ankara on the issue.

“Pakistan has very close and brotherly ties with Turkey. We are aware of the Turkish concerns. Authorities in both the countries are in touch with each other to address Turkish concerns while also remaining cognisant of the importance of avoiding disruption in the academic activities of a sizeable number of students,” Zakria added.

“In essence, in keeping with the cordial relations between the two countries, we are maintaining a close contact with Turkey to address the issue in a manner that fully addresses Turkey’s concerns as also of the students,” he further said.

Turkey detains senior Gulen aide after coup attempt

The state-run Radio Pakistan said the two sides were expected to discuss ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in different fields.

The Turkish foreign minister and Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will address a joint news conference on Tuesday after holding formal talks. The Turkish foreign policy wizard is also expected to call on the prime minister.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • abreez
    Aug 2, 2016 - 9:16AM

    How can Turkey interfere in internal affairs of Pakistan, even if present Turkish sultan has very friendly business relations with Pakistani bluff master, Turkey has no right to dictate its terms.Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 2, 2016 - 10:31AM

    I would say put the schools up for auction to either the Kasuris or other education conglomerates within the country. Turkey is our ONLY friend now in the world in all honesty. Let’s not create a diplomatic situation with them over a few schools.Recommend

  • Sami Khan
    Aug 2, 2016 - 11:44AM

    We Pakistanis love Turkey. We should close all those schools which are playing any role in destabilising of Turkish Republic.
    I think schools buildings are valuable assets and they should be allowed to operate as schools but staff and text should be replaced.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Aug 2, 2016 - 11:46AM

    Give pak-turk school to turkey’s government, also keep it running Recommend

  • salman
    Aug 2, 2016 - 12:10PM

    And what about the students and employees ?Recommend

  • Pak.U.Spatriot
    Aug 2, 2016 - 12:12PM

    Gulen is supported by U.S and we cannot go against our lord…!!Recommend

  • Dr. shoaib
    Aug 2, 2016 - 2:23PM

    Turkey vs Gullen. We should not make unhappy a powerful and brotherly country for a powerless man living an exiled life. Get money from Turkey who helps us a lot and make 100 schools.Turkey give us F-16 and support us internationallyRecommend

  • M. Emad
    Aug 2, 2016 - 5:32PM

    Today Bangladesh government banned (Zakir Naik’s all unauthorized) ‘Peace Schools’ in Bangladesh.Recommend

  • Aug 3, 2016 - 12:43AM

    It will be very hard for Pakistan to make a decision…but maybe Pakistan shoud before a Gulen sponsored coup comes to Pakistan….LOLRecommend

  • Imran Ahmed
    Aug 10, 2016 - 10:41AM

    Do we have any self-respect or regard for our own laws? Those Turk nationals working in Pakistani schools have not been shown nor charged with having broken any of our laws. Removing them without cause shows our government’s own lack of principles, of political cowardice. I hope the courts punish any decision maker who decides that grovelling to Erdogan is more important than abiding by Pakistan’s Law.Recommend

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