The government of Turkey has commenced a massive deportation of Nigerian students in the country according to news reports.
According to Rukkaya Usman, a Nigerian student deported from the country, said the Turkish government did not give a reason for the action.
He told TheCable on Saturday, October 1, 2016 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.
“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 6 pm. 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.”
Investigations revealed that the Turkish government is in a drive to deport all Nigerian students at universities linked to Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet movement, the organisation accused of being behind the foiled coup of July 15. It is unclear if this action affects students from other countries besides Nigeria.
Gulen is an Islamic cleric whom President Recep Erdogan of Turkey considers as his strongest rival.
After the botched 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.
It is to be recalled that 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.