Pak-Turk schools

Pak-Turk schools

Pak-Turk schools ISLAMABAD: The Pak-Turk school network approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday in order to avoid adverse action against their 28 branches in 10 cities across Pakistan.

This comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the Pakistani government to close down the Pak-Turk schools as the Turkish government believes the school chain is part of a network owned by Fetullah Gulen, a political rival of Mr Erdogan. Turkey has declared Gulen’s organisation a terrorist entity after the coup attempt in July 15.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference on Tuesday in Islamabad that they are working to protect the future of students enrolled in Pak-Turk schools.

A director of the board which runs the Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan told Dawn that the Turkish government has introduced Al-Maarif educational network, which will takeover the Pak-Turk schools network in Pakistan.

Though he admitted that the administration of these schools is inspired by Gulen’s ideology, Mr Khan denied that the Turkish scholar had any stake in the school network.

In the courtroom on Wednesday, counsel for the schools Hafiz S. Rehman argued that the board of directors of the schools, consisting of four Turkish and four Pakistanis, had no connection with Gulen or his movement.

He said the schools had been registered with the relevant departments in a lawful manner and that children had been enrolled after obtaining necessary approvals from concerned departments.

More than 10,000 children study in the 28 branches of the school, he said, adding that adverse action against the school may put the future of these students at risk.

When IHC Justice Farooq asked if there was a notification or adverse order issued by the Pakistani government against the schools, Mr Rehman said there was a strong possibility of the government taking such a step.

He requested the court to stop the government from taking any unlawful step which would compromise the future of students of the school or to maintain status quo.

Justice Farooq denied this request.

“Since I have asked the deputy attorney general to seek instructions from the ministries of foreign affairs and interior, you should wait for their response, as nothing is black and white in this case,” he said.

The hearing was adjourned till Friday.


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