Turkish Embassy: No Nigerian Student under Custody in Turkey

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Turkish Embassy in Nigeria has refuted claims that some Nigerian students in Turkey are under custody in connection to the failed coup allegedly sponsored by a popular Islamic cleric, Fethuller Gullen.

The embassy also denied deporting any Nigerian student at any time, noting that the four Nigerian citizens deported were not students but persons who tried to gain entry to Turkey illegally.

The position of the embassy, which was made known in a statement from the Information office of the embassy in Abuja, added that the four Nigerian citizens who were caught on the Turkish side of the Turkish Syrian border, were taken to a court of law where the decision to deport them was taken.

The statement added that consular access was granted to the Nigerian Charge d’ Affaires to visit them on October 3 before they were deported on October 7.

Part of the statement read, “Regarding the news in the media about the detention of Nigerian students in Turkey, the Embassy wishes to bring the following information to the attention of the esteemed Nigerian media. There are not any Nigerian students under custody in Turkey. The Turkish police have not detained any Nigerian students. No Nigerian students were deported from Turkey”.

While stating that the news about detention of 50 Nigerian students do not reflect the real situation, the embassy said, “On 27 September, 2016 four Nigerian citizens were detained in Turkish side of the Turkish-Syrian border while they are trying to enter Turkey illegally.

“These people are not students, they appeared in the court and court decided to deport them to Nigeria. Consular access has been granted to the Nigerian Charge d’Affaires to visit them on 3 October 2016. These Nigerians are deported to Nigeria on 7 October 2016”.

The embassy disclosed that the information has already been conveyed to the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also stated that, Turkey and Nigeria have been enjoying very cordial relations and Turkish Government attaches particular importance to the enhancement of the relations with Nigeria in every field.

It said, “More than three thousand Nigerian students have been studying in different Turkish universities with about 29 of them granted new scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year by the Turkish Government.
“Allocations of new scholarships to the Nigerian students constitutes clear example of Turkey’s willingness of developing relations with Nigeria in the field of education”, the statement added.