ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the country, authorities have declined to extend visas of 108 Turkish teachers and their families residing in Pakistan.
Teachers of Pak-Turk schools have been asked to leave the country within three days, a notification of the Ministry of Interior said on Monday.
Sources in the ministry told The Express Tribune that there are 108 teachers in schools of Pak-Turk Education Foundation, which have been denied extension in their visas along with their family members.
Despite pressure, Pak-Turk schools won’t be shut
There are around 1,200 Pakistani and 134 Turkish personnel employed by 28 Pak-Turk schools and colleges – with around 10,000 students studying in these educational institutions across the country.
Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan had earlier asked the authorities in the country to close down the schools after failed military coup in Turkey, which was blamed on the Fethullah Gulen-inspired Hizmet movement. The Turkish government had linked the school chain with the movement.
Ankara offered to take over Pak-Turk schools
In August during an official visit to Islamabad, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had stressed the chain of ‘Gulen-run’ schools in Pakistan should be shut down.
It is feared that education of students would be affected by this decision. However, Turkish and Pakistani high-ups have assured the schools will remain operational.
'Pak-Turk schools are operational’
“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 said in a statement.
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