Saturday, October 1

EXCLUSIVE: Turkish govt begins massive deportation of Nigerian students

EXCLUSIVE: Turkish govt begins massive deportation of Nigerian students

The Turkish government has commenced a massive deportation of Nigerian students resident in the country, TheCable can report.

Rukkaya Usman, a Nigerian student deported from the country, said the Turkish government does not give a reason for the action.

Usman, a final year student of political science and international relations at the University of Melikseh, told TheCable on Saturday that she arrived in Turkey at 8am on September 26, but that she was detained at the airport for about 10 hours after which she was funnelled into an aircraft for a flight back to Nigeria.

“As I got to the airport, at the immigration; they (immigration) collected my passport and resident permit. They started to ask me questions like: ‘what are you studying?’ ‘What’s your father’s name?’ They took my passport. This was on September 26.

I asked what was happening. But they said they didn’t know, that it was a new law, that they were sending me back to my country,” she narrated.

“They said if I had any questions I should go to my embassy and ask. I was put in a room. There were about seven other people. We were locked up in the room; there were cameras. We were not allowed to talk to anyone. I was told that my next flight was at 6pm. I asked for my passport, but they said I would get it when I get to my country.

“They took me to the plane, and they watched me as I boarded the aircraft.”

TheCable understands that the Turkish government is in a drive to deport all Nigerian students at universities linked to Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet movement.

Gulen is an Islamic cleric whom President Recep Erdogan of Turkey considers as his strongest rival.

After the botched July 15 coup, Erdogan launched a massive crackdown on the investments of Gulen’s followers.

He blamed Gulen for the coup, but the cleric has denied the allegation.

A few weeks after the coup, the Turkish government asked the Nigerian government to shut down all the schools which had affinity with Gulen. But the Nigerian government did not oblige them.

The Turkish government has now resorted to deporting Nigerian students resident in the country.

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