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Afghan forces detain Turkish teachers linked with Gulen

AT-KABUL: Afghan forces detained three Turkish and one Afghan teacher of the Afghan-Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE), who are allegedly blamed of having links with Turkish Government’s political opponent Fethullah Gulen.

Afghan forces have detained the three Turks and one Afghan citizen including deputy head of the ATCE Tuesday morning while they were on their way to school. The ATCE runs at least 12 schools in several Afghan provinces including capital Kabul.

“Afghan forces detained the mentioned teachers from two cars, while they were on way toward school,” Fawad Haidari, Deputy Head of the Afghan Turk Schools told Afghanistan Times.

He said that the teachers had been arrested on the way without informing us.

He said that the arrested men were only teachers had nothing with politics and I don’t think they may have links to this issue (of Gulen).

Shortly after detain of teachers we wrote letters to the Afghan security forces to gain information about them but we received no official response, he added.

He stated that still we don’t know where they are and their family members and colleagues are worried about them.

Although the government still did not provide reason behind the detention of the teachers, but the Afghan Turk NGO officials believe they are detained in the connection of the recent campaign of the Turkish government to detain followers and supporters of the US based cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen was also accused for being behind the recent failed coup in Turkey.

Also the Afghan forces tried to enter to the dormitory of the girls but were faced with resistance of our teachers and parents of the students, because they did not had legal warrant and later they left the area, he noted.

We believe they are detained on suspicion of having links to Gulen, said an official of the NGO in anonymity condition.

After the failed coup in Turkey the Turkish government which believes the Afghan Turk schools are being run by supporters of Gulen asked Kabul to transfer the control of these schools from ATCE to a Turkish government foundation but the process was not completed yet.

Mr. Haidary said that the Afghan government created a commission to work to transfer the control of the schools to a newly established Turkish government foundation but the Afghan Turk schools did not accept this.

He said that we are independent nonpolitical NGO and governments cannot transfer our millions of dollars investment to other foundation, thus we showed reaction.

ATEC which started its services in 1995 in Afghanistan have 12 schools in six major provinces of the country and are termed the high quality schools with good prestige among Afghan schools.

Also today the families of student of the female Afghan-Turk school in a press conference here showed reaction to the detaining of Afghan Turk teachers and asked the government to release them as soon as possible.

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