The Turkish government, on Thursday, said the masterminds of the failed coup in the European country have roots in Nigeria.
According to the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, Turkey has alerted the Federal Government to the existence of schools allegedly owned by suspected terrorists and want them shut down.
It said there are 17 schools in Nigeria bearing the name of Turkey” but were not owned by the European country.
According to the Ambassador in a document issued by the Turkish Embassy in Abuja, aside the schools, other institutions traced to the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation allegedly founded by Fethullah Gulen, also included hospitals.
A Turkish embassy document listed the indicted schools and institutions as Surat Educational Limited, Abuja; Nigerian-Turkish International School, in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe, Ogun and Lagos; and the Nigerian-Turkish Nile University, Abuja.
Others are The Association of Businessmen and Investors of Nigeria and Turkey/Abinat, Abuja and Lagos; Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, Abuja; Nigerian-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital, Abuja; and Vefa Travel Agency, Abuja.
Speaking when the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sanni, visited the embassy, Ambassador Cakil, said the owners of the schools sponsored the recent coup in Turkey.
Read also: Tension in Turkey as failed coup plotters may face death penalty
Continuing, Cacil said confessions by the coup plotters, who are currently under investigation, have indicated that the same syndicate which hatched the botched July 15, 2016 coup, own the schools in Nigeria.
The ambassador said: “You may be aware that the government of Turkey has started to investigate the sponsors of the coup and it is now very clear that Gulen was behind the coup. There are some testimonies we have taken from the military officials.
“In Nigeria, they have 17 schools; some of them are in Kano, Abuja, Lagos, etc., and they are offering scholarships to their graduates. They are not Turkish government schools. The schools bearing “Turkish” are schools belonging to Fethullah Gulen.
“We are starting a legal process to take the name “Turkish” out of the name of the schools. They are not the schools of the Turkish government; they are misleading the public.
He also said the universities were used to indoctrinate international students including Nigerians by the group.
“I have already contacted my counterpart in Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I have already requested officially, both orally and written, for the closure of these schools. Also, I have informed Mr. Geoffrey Onyema and Mr. Abba Kyari on this subject, requesting their support on closing down the schools,” he said.
Responding, Senator Sani told the Ambassador that the Nigerian government would first investigate the allegations before acting on them.
He said: “Those issues you raised are issues someone like me will like to pursue to the end. We cannot claim to be a democracy and harbour people who will overthrow government in another country.”
Recall that a Turkish newspaper, Yenisafak, had alleged that a suspected financier of the coup in Turkey, ex- US commander, General John Campbell, transferred funds used to finance the coup through the United Bank for Africa Plc.
It said that Campbell managed more than $2 billion transactions through UBA in Nigeria, using CIA links to distribute the money among the pro-coup military personnel in Turkey.
But UBA has since denied any involvement in the failed coup in Turkey, saying the newspaper report linking it with the high treason was false and spurious.
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By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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