Kyrgyz citizens studying at schools related to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and their families are being denied entry to Turkey, Deputy Education Minister of Turkey Orhan Erdem has said.
Speaking to a Bursa gathering that was attended by academics from Kyrgyzstan on Friday, Erdem said people who interact with Gülen-linked schools are not welcome in Turkey.
“Please ask your acquaintances, friends and brothers not to go to these terrorists’ schools. Because it is highly likely that we are denying visas to those who study at such schools. We do not even want to see their families in Turkey,” the deputy minister said.
Turkish government blames the cleric for the failed July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey and argues the Gulen schools are part of a strategy to undermine the state. The schools denied any links to suspicious activities.
There are about 11,000 students in Kyrgyzstan currently studying at the Sapat schools (previously known as Sebat). President Almazbek Atambayev openly said the Sebat schools won’t be closed down across Kyrgyzstan despite the Turkish authorities’ calls to do so.