Turkey coup and the proxy war in Nigeria

Turkey's President Recep Erdogan

R ECENTLY, the Nigerian media was awash with the news about the call by the Turkish ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hakan Cakil, on the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to close down all 17 schools,  popularly known as Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges (NTIC), situated across the country.

And so, in his estimation, Mr. Cakil strongly believes that the Nigerian government should, as a matter of urgency, wind up Mr. Fethullah  Gulen’s schools in Nigeria “because they (Fethullah Gulen and his co-investors) are raising funds through the schools and they are using these funds for illegal activities.”

No doubt, this call is not just the opinion of the Turkish ambassador to Nigeria and, more importantly, a reflection of the heart of his home government, but also, it is an ample evidence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deep frustration with the global acceptance of the legitimate activities and achievements of the Hizmet Movement.

There is no reason for the Nigerian government to meddle with Mr. Gulen’s stupendous investments in the country, which provide not just development but jobs and opportunities to thousands of Nigerian citizens.

Though the intention here is not to hold brief for Mr Gulen, Hizmet Movement or the Nigerian-Turkish International Colleges either, the truth of the matter, nonetheless, is that there seems to be no justifiable nexus between the recent unsuccessful coup in Turkey and the Turkish ambassador’s call on the Nigerian government to close down all schools legitimately owned, registered and managed by diligent Turkish citizens merely being suspected and accused of having sponsored a failed coup in their country. Therefore, the ignorance-based call by the ambassador to the Nigerian government is not just totally misplaced and absurd, but also unworthy of being dignified with attention of any sort by the Buhari-led Federal Government.


  • Onyiorah Paschal, Abuja.