ISLAMABAD: The government has on Tuesday decided to close a chain of private schools in Pakistan run by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Sources say the decision was taken before the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan for a two-day state visit to Pakistan from 16-17 November.
The Turkish government had blamed Fehtullah Gulen for a thwarted coup d-etat against Erdogan in July. Afterwards, the Turkish government had pressed on governments around the world to shut down all institutions linked to Gulen.
Consequently, the government has issued directives to close down 23 Pak-Turk schools across the country linked to Gulen and instructed all foreign teachers to leave the country. It said that they would be deported if they do not leave the country.
A source at the Ministry of Interior has confirmed that the Pak Turk schools are linked to Gulen. There are 108 teachers employed, and around 400 related family members who have been instructed to leave the country by November 20.
The source revealed that immigration officers have been informed to deport the teachers and administration of the schools if they do not leave the country within the stipulated time.
The Turkish government has purged thousands of people in the miliitary, bureaucracy, academia and others sectors after the attempted coup especially those linked to Gulen. It has also called on the United States to extradite Gulren back to Turkey.