PESHAWAR: The Pak-Turk school network students and their parents' protested against the likely closure of the educational set-up following the two-day state visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the federal government's decision to deport teachers affiliated with Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges.
Around 150 parents along with more than 500 students staged a protest demonstration outside the Pak-Turk school in Hayatabad and chanted slogans against the federal government over its biased decision to please the Turkish government.
According to the protesters, the federal ministry of interior has ordered all Turkish residents affiliated with the two Pak-Turk schools in Peshawar to leave Pakistan by November 20. It merits mentioning that the Pak-Turk Schools have two set-ups in Peshawar, namely a junior section in University Town area and a seniors' section in Hayatabad Township.
The two schools have more than 800 Pakistani students studying there. There are 23 Pak-Turk schools in Pakistan, where 108 Turkish citizens are working as teachers and in other capacities. The total number of these teachers and their family members amounts to 400. However, the Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges network has issued a clarification denying any political affiliation with the Fethullah Gulen- inspired Hizmet Movement.
Zainul Abideen, Media Coordinator of Pak-Turk schools in Peshawar told Daily Times that there were 13 teaching faculty staff in the two branches in Peshawar who had applied for the annual renewals of their visa but the concerned department rejected their applications.
He said the abrupt decision by the federal government during the ongoing session of the students will affect the study of more than 800 students learning at the two branches of Peshawar. The parents at the protest showed praised the school performance and lashed out at the government's blind policy that was intended to please the president of Turkey.
Students, parents and the teachers at the Pak-Turk schools feared that the Turkish President would demand off the Pakistan government to close down the educational network across the country as it alleged the set-up was backed by the Gulen movement.