A number of students and teachers from the Afghan-Turk school in Herat province were detained on Sunday by local police over their protests against a government takeover of the school based on a court decision referring to the school’s links to the Gülen movement, according to the ToloNews website.
The police along with officials from Turkey’s Maarif Foundation arrived on Sunday to take over the school, a source told Turkish Minute, a move that sparked unrest among the students and parents who had gathered in front of the school building and protested the officials.
Meanwhile, the Afghan-Turk CAG Educational NGO issued a statement shortly after the detentions and condemned the move. They said it was against the constitution, civil law, the criminal code and other applicable laws and international norms.
In February Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education formally handed over management of the Afghan-Turk schools to the Turkish government, defying calls by parents and students to keep the schools under Afghan control.
Maarif was established prior to a coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 through legislation in the Turkish parliament, and after the abortive putsch it targeted the closure of Gülen-linked educational institutions as part of Turkish foreign policy since the government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating the failed coup.
The foundation has also opened 140 schools in 25 countries and signed protocols with 28 countries to take over Gülen-affiliated schools.
The Turkish government launched a post-coup crackdown on the movement both in Turkey and abroad.