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After Yearlong Struggle, Turkey’s Crackdown Reaches Afghan Schools

Turkey’s global purge and the crackdown on Gulen-affiliated schools never show signs of abating. The latest attempt took place in Afghanistan on Sunday, with all the hallmarks of previous ones already displayed in various times in Turkey or other countries.

Early on Sunday, officials linked with Turkey’s state-run Maarif Foundation took control of two schools in Herat province of Afghanistan. In a submission to unyielding demands from Ankara, the Afghan Education Ministry already relinquished the control of a number of private Afghan-Turkish schools affiliated with the Gulen Movement to Ankara-backed Maarif Foundation earlier this year.

The decision set off a yearlong showdown between new officials and the families of students who were adamantly opposed to any takeover of the schools by Ankara.

Previous attempts to run schools hit a snag after families’ unflinching and stubborn resistance. But this Sunday, Maarif-linked officials came to the school, touching off a new episode of clashes between families and the Afghan authorities.

While Turkey’s efforts to seize Gulen-affiliated schools across the world mostly took place without much fuss, things in Afghanistan developed differently as families vowed to fight against the seizure as long as possible within their capacity.

The Sunday takeover resulted in a number of brief detentions, local media reported. Police and security forces laid a siege to all-girls and all-boys schools in Herat. A Turkish official working for
Afghan-Turkish school network divulged details of how the events transpired in schools with media.

Police blocked access to schools, assembled students to a gathering point and seized their cellphones to restrict diffusion of the news throughout media. They detained some teachers and students who attempted to resist those attempts.

When news of the crackdown filtered through social media and the local community, parents of students began to amass outside schools. The committee of student families was summoned by the provincial education bureau of the Afghan government in Herat for consultations and briefing. An official who talked to AST on the condition of anonymity claimed that the summoning served as a distraction as Afghan authorities descended on one of the schools’ principal office at the same time to finalize the management change.

They even held a symbolic ceremony for the commencement of new administrators. When police and security forces left the school, graduates, students and a group of families forced the newly installed Maarif officials out of the school after a brief scuffle.

Maarif directors took refuge in armed vehicles of Afghan security forces outside one of the schools. A melee followed thereafter as graduated schools displayed their fury against the takeover of the school.

This invited a large force of reinforcements as top education official in Herat sought new forces to break up the protest and suppress the resistance by families. The deployment of additional police forces within school sparked some clashes. The police forcefully detained many students.

As things escalated into some violent showdown, more than 400 people assembled outside the school to demand the release of detained students.

So far now, no Turkish teachers were taken into custody, something that always occurred in other countries where such school takeovers took place.

In first official remarks on the incident, Herat Governor’s Spokesman Jelani Farhad confirmed that security forces carried out a court order against Gulen-linked schools. He also acknowledged that the raid was conducted to change the school director.

But the official denied any wrongdoing and insisted that the whole takeover took place as part of an official agreement between the governments Afghanistan and Turkey.

Afghan-Turk Cag Educational (ATCE), an NGO that previously ran the schools, condemned the police raid, portraying it as a move incompatible with civil law, constitution, the criminal code of the country, not to speak of international norms.

Turkey’s yearlong efforts were repeatedly foiled by a group of determinant families. The attitude displayed by student parents and NGOs defending education rights of the Afghan people offer some form of a solace in a country where civil society barely exists. In a repudiation of the perception that civil society is just a letter on paper, devoid of any substance, in Afghanistan, the families pledged to prolong their fight against Maarif’s brazen takeover.

A large-scale demonstration is expected to take place on Monday. Afghanistan, which goes through a decades-long war between Western-backed government forces and a resurgent Taliban, suffers a shortage of teachers and education facilities. In the face of depleted sources and tremendous hardships, the last thing Kabul needs is to alienate a group of volunteers and NGOs which, for their unswerving commitment to Afghan people, did not leave the country even in the face of a protracted and deadly war. Kabul should return the favor by ignoring Turkey’s norm-defying demand for the takeover of the schools, which have become beacons of success and advanced education.

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached letter or your own letter to following addresses:

You can find a sample letter at the following link.

https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Letter_to_officials_erdogans_long_arm_in_afghanistan.pdf

You can find your U.S Senator at the following link.

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

You can find your U.S Representatives at the link.

https://www.house.gov/representatives

1) Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Helsinki Commission
Phone: 202-225-1901
Fax: 202-226-4199
Email: INFO@CSCE.GOV
Twitter: @HelsinkiComm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission/

Chairman: Senator Roger F. Wicker
Address and Contact:
555 Dirksen 555 Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Main: (202) 224-6253 |Fax: (202) 228-0378 | Twitter: @SenatorWicker
Email: senator@wicker.senate.gov

Co-Chairman: Representative Christopher H. Smith
Washington DC Office: 2373 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3765 | Fax: (202) 225-7768 | Twitter: @RepChrisSmith
https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm

2) Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-5887
Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
Twitter: @TLHumanRights

3) Congressional Afghan Caucus
Phone: +1 (202) 225-2411
Fax: +1 (202) 225-2013
Federal Caucus Member: Pete King, pete.king@mail.house.gov,
Federal Caucus Member: Bill Pascrell, bill.pascrell@mail.house.gov

4) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

5) U.S. Department of State
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

6) Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Phone: 202-456-6213
Email: vice.president@whitehouse.gov
Twitter: @VP

7) Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (202) 224-3224
Fax: (202) 224-8378
Email: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
Twitter:@SenBooker

AFGHANISTAN

1) President Ashraf Ghani
Twitter: @ashrafghani
Phone: 0202104444,
0202104445
Hamdullah Mohib, National Security Advisor (Former Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United
States)
Twitter: @hmohib

2) Shah Hussain Murtazawi,
Acting Spokesperson for President’s Office
Phone: +93 (0) 728 998 907
Email: murtazawi84@yahoo.com

3) Salahuddin Rabbani. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan,
Malek Asghar St. Kabul, Afghanistan
Phone: 0093 (0) 20 2100372,
0093 (0) 20 2100371
Email: info@mfa.af
Twitter: @mfa_afghanistan http://mfa.gov.af/en/form/contactus

4) Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States
Address: Embassy of Afghanistan, 2341 Wyoming Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008 Phone:
202-483-6410
Fax: 202-483-6488
Info@afghanembassy.us

Contact Us

5) Mahmoud SAIKAL, Ambassador and Permanent Representative Permanent Mission of
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New York Address: 633 Third Avenue Floor 27A, New York,
NY 10017
Phone: 212-972 1212
Fax: 212-972 1216
@AfghanMissionUN
info@afghanistan-un.org

6) U.S. Embassy Kabul
Phone: (00 93) (0)700-10-8000
Fax: (00 93) (0)700-108-564 @USEmbassyKabul
KabulACS@state.gov

7) DR. ABDULLAH ABDULLAH(CEO)
Special Assistant Ahmet Zahit Anwari
0093700291626
0093202106803
a.z.anwari@ceo.gov.af
Sao@ceo.gov.af

8) Chief of Staff Abdul Kahar Abed
0093744200000
0093700281980
abed.qahar@gmail.com

9) Spoke person
Dr. Mucibur Rahman Rahimi
PH: 0093702103333
mujib.rahimi@ceo.af

10) Ministry of Foreign Affairs

0093202100372
0093202100371
Info@mfa.af

Social media posts on the raid:

HASHTAG
#DoNotPoliticizeAfghanSchools

Read more

Urgent action about detainments of six Turkish educationists in Moldova

On September 6, 2018 six Turkish nationals in Moldova were detained. SIS agents of Moldova conducted the detainment of Vice Director and five educationists in Orizont Moldovan-Turkish Educational Institutions early hours in the morning. The detainees’ names were affirmed as Riza Dogan, Hasan Karacaoglu, Yasin Ozdil, Mujdat Celebi, Huseyin Bayraktar and Feridun Tufekci. The wife of Hasan Karacaoglu, the Vice director, stated that they have been living in Moldova for 20 years. Except Huseyin Bayraktar, five of the detainees are asylum seekers who are supposed to be granted by the end of September.

Additionally; the director of Orizont Schools, Turgay Sen, was detained without
any explanation in March 2018 and released in April after applying for asylum.

It is internationally known that Turkish government tracks the Gulen followers or sympathizers who have been targeted oppressively since the failed coup attempt. Abductions, detainments and deportations take place in such countries where rule of law and democracy are not applied. And Turkish government urges those countries to implement these illegal actions. Given the recent abduction cases in different countries such as Mongolia, Kosovo, Ukraine, Malaysia, Kirghizistan, Pakistan and also threats of deportation to Turkey where a fair trial is not likely nowadays and there is fear of torture; an urgent action to release these people and to provide protection for them is extremely vital.

As reported by families of detainees and local media resources, the lawyers are not allowed to communicate with them. Amnesty International Moldova Director Cristina Pereteatcu stated that a possible deportation would be taken into consideration. It was also reported that the operation was conducted by SIS Antiterror agents which means judicial authorities are not involved in the case. Whereabouts of detainees is still unknown. The Minister of Justice stated that Moldova could be exposed to penalty by ECHR because of the detainment and possible deportation of Turkish educationists.

We write you today to emphasize our great concern about the detainment and prospective extradition of these six educationists and also to request to take urgent action from the Government of Moldova to release and provide protection of human rights of them along with all other Hizmet movement affiliated people.

Sincerely,

Download sample statement as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Moldova-case.docx

Download AST statement signed by AST spokesperson Hafsa Yildiz as a pdf document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Moldova-case.pdf

Download Letter of the European Parliament Members as a pdf document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/letter-for-co-signature-Turkish-teachers-deported.pdf

Download Letter of the Arrested Lawyers Initiative as a pdf document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/LETTER.pdf

Download Letter of the London Advocacy Group as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Turkish-regime-continues-with-the-witch-hunt-in-Moldova.docx

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Helsinki Commission
Phone: 202-225-1901
Fax: 202-226-4199
Email: INFO@CSCE.GOV
Twitter: @HelsinkiComm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission/

Chairman: Senator Roger F. Wicker
Address and Contact:
555 Dirksen 555 Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Main: (202) 224-6253 |Fax: (202) 228-0378 | Twitter: @SenatorWicker
Email: senator@wicker.senate.gov

Co-Chairman: Representative Christopher H. Smith
Washington DC Office: 2373 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3765 | Fax: (202) 225-7768 | Twitter: @RepChrisSmith
https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm

2) Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-5887
Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
Twitter: @TLHumanRights

3) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

4) The European Court of Human Rights Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg cedex
Phone: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 18
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 27 30

Mr. Günter SCHIRMER
Head of the Secretariat
Phone: +33/3 88.41.2809
Email: guenter.schirmer@coe.int

5) U.S. Department of State
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

6) Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Phone: 202-456-6213
Email: vice.president@whitehouse.gov
Twitter: @VP

7) Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (202) 224-3224
Fax: (202) 224-8378
Email: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
Twitter:@SenBooker

8) Moldova Contacts

petitii@prm.md ( Moldova President – Petitions Department )

secdep@mfa.md ( Foreign Affairs )

secretariat@justice.gov.md (Minister of Justice )

https://gov.md/en/content/write-prime-minister ( prime minister link to e-mail )

washington@mfa.md ( Moldova Embassy in U.S.)

9) Permanent Mission of the Republic of Moldova to the United Nations

Phone: (212) 447-1867
Fax: (212) 447-4067
E-mail: NEW-YORK@mfa.md ,
unmoldova@mfa.md(preferred)

News articles on the raid:

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/09/06/world/europe/06reuters-moldova-turkey

http://protv.md/stiri/actualitate/directul-liceului-moldo-turc-orizont-si-alte-cinci-persoane-retinute—2338911

https://www.ziarulnational.md/ultima-ora-cinci-angajati-ai-retelei-de-licee-orizont-din-r-moldova-retinuti-in-aceasta-dimineata-fie-de-acasa-fie-in-timp-ce-se-indreptau-spre-scoala-la-unii-au-daramat-usa-de-la-apartamente-nimeni-nu-stie-unde-i-au-dus/

http://www.tr724.com/insan-kacirma-simdi-de-moldovada

https://dtj-online.de/entfuehrung-von-bildungsaktivisten-in-moldawien-111876

http://proderechos.org/el-largo-brazo-de-erdogan-se-extiende-a-europa

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/six-turkish-professors-detained-by-moldovan-secret-services-09-06-2018

https://unimedia.info/stiri/pas–despre-retinerea-celor-sase-persoane-de-la-liceul-orizont-statul-republica-moldova-a-decis–in-schimbul-banilor-pentru-reconstructia-cladirii-presedintelui—sa-calce-in-picioare-drepturile-omului-161125

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2018/09/turkish-teachers-detained-moldova-gulen

http://www.jurnal.md/ro/news/0d7c66fbbbe738e5/amnesty-despre-retinerile-ilicite-de-la-orizont-sis-expune-acesti-oameni-unui-pericol-iminent-de-tortura.html

Social media posts on the raid:

Intreaga conducere a Liceului “Orizont” din Chisinau (6 persoane), liceu apartinand de reteaua liceelor “Lumina”,…

Posted by Rares Bogdan on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Poftim! retinerea unuia din directorii liceului "Orizont", impreuna cu copilul lui.

Posted by Cristina Pereteatcu on Wednesday, September 5, 2018

La Aeroport cerem stoparea vânzărilor de oameni!

Posted by Partidul Acțiune și Solidaritate on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Videos on the abduction of Teachers in Moldova:

Moldovian Student who is in protests at the Airport

Moldovian student who was in the same car when the kidnapping happened

Set him free!! call, from Riza Dogan’s kids

Set him free!! call, from Yasin Ozdil’s daughter

Moldovian parent explain the abduction of Turkish teachers

Set him free!! call, from the daughter

Read more

Afghan security forces raided Afghan-Turk High School at the request of Turkish government

Afghan-Turk Boys High School in Shibirghan was raided by members of the Afghan security forces under the command of Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum, controversial First Vice President of Afghanistan, early July 28,2018 morning. Afghan security forces detained Turkish teachers, dozens of students and their parents in order to seize the school at the request of the Turkish government.

Local sources indicate that the school has been surrounded and shut down by the militias of the Dostum. The school administration notes that no legal justification has been provided. Governor of Jowzjan province and the police chief joined the raid at 6:00 AM local time.

The Turkish government has pressured the government of Afghanistan to either shut down or transfer ownership of the Afghan-Turk Schools to the Maarif Foundation which is affiliated to and supported by the Turkish government. The Afghan-Turk schools were founded by Gulen inspired Turkish businessmen and teachers in 1995. Despite all the difficulties in the region, the schools have continued to maintain its services believing that education is the only way to overcome those difficulties. Gulen Movement affiliated schools in Afghanistan operated under Afghan-Turk ÇAĞ Educational NGO, have won 875 awards in international science Olympiads from 2003 through 2016 — 278 gold, 287 silver, and 310 bronze medals.

We would like to emphasize that this raid is not an isolated incident. Turkish officials and the Turkish Embassy in Kabul have continuously targeted the schools and its staff over the past few years. The unlawful and politically motivated measures taken within recent months against the Afghan-Turk Schools have been perpetuated by the Turkish government.

It is apparent that the prior abductions and human rights violations by the Turkish government would conclude with taking over the schools abroad and asking extraditions of all the Turkish teachers in these schools to Turkey.

As the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we strongly request your assistance to remind the Afghan authorities to respect democratic values and resist the pressures from Turkey. We urge immediate and necessary action to stop the crackdown on the Afghan-Turk schools.

Download sample statement as a word document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter_Afghan-Turk-school-raid.docx

Download AST statement signed by AST spokesperson Hafsa Yildiz as a pdf document:
https://silencedturkey.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AST_Letter_Afghan-Turk-school-raid.pdf

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to following addresses:

1) Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Helsinki Commission
Phone: 202-225-1901
Fax: 202-226-4199
Email: INFO@CSCE.GOV
Twitter: @HelsinkiComm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkicommission/

Chairman: Senator Roger F. Wicker
Address and Contact:
555 Dirksen 555 Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
Main: (202) 224-6253 |Fax: (202) 228-0378 | Twitter: @SenatorWicker
Email: senator@wicker.senate.gov

Co-Chairman: Representative Christopher H. Smith
Washington DC Office: 2373 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3765 | Fax: (202) 225-7768 | Twitter: @RepChrisSmith
https://chrissmith.house.gov/contact/zipauth.htm

2) Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
Phone: +1 (202) 225-3599
Fax: +1 (202) 226-5887
Email: TLHRC@mail.house.gov
Twitter: @TLHumanRights

3) Congressional Afghan Caucus
Phone: +1 (202) 225-2411
Fax: +1 (202) 225-2013
Federal Caucus Member: Pete King, pete.king@mail.house.gov,
Federal Caucus Member: Bill Pascrell, bill.pascrell@mail.house.gov

4) United Nations Human Rights Council (UN HRC)
Phone: (+41) 22 917 9656
Email: civilsociety@ohchr.org
Twitter: @UN_HRC
Website: www.ohchr.org/hrc

5) The European Court of Human Rights Council of Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg cedex
Phone: +33 (0)3 88 41 20 18
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 27 30

Mr. Günter SCHIRMER
Head of the Secretariat
Phone: +33/3 88.41.2809
Email: guenter.schirmer@coe.int

6) U.S. Department of State
Phone: (202) 647-6575
Email: https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform
Twitter: @StateDept
Website: https://www.state.gov/

7) Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Phone: 202-456-6213
Email: vice.president@whitehouse.gov
Twitter: @VP

8) Senator Cory Booker
Phone: (202) 224-3224
Fax: (202) 224-8378
Email: https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact
Twitter:@SenBooker

News articles on the raid:

https://dtj-online.de/afghanistan-polizei-will-hizmet-schule-einnehmen-111781

https://stockholmcf.org/afghan-security-forces-raided-afghan-turk-boys-high-school-in-shibirghan/

https://turkeypurge.com/afghan-police-wait-outside-gulen-affiliated-high-school-in-shibirghan-to-detain-teachers-at-turkeys-request

Social media posts on the raid:

ی جوزجان خون آلود شدن صورت یکتن از اولیای شاگردان توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی

در یورش امروز نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجان به مکتب افغان-ترک شبرغان، در اثر سنگ های که از بواسطه موتر آبپاش به صورت یکتن از والدین برخورد نمود، صورت ایشان خون آلود شد.ARG – ارگAshraf GhaniDr. Abdullah Abdullahریاست عمومی دفتر مقام عالی ریاست جمهوریریاست اجراییه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستاندفتر شورای امنیت ملیوزارت امور داخله – د کورنیو چارو وزارتMohammad Haneef AtmarUNICEF Afghanistanلوی څارنوالی – AGODirectorate of NGOs ریاست انجوها وزارت اقتصادUNHCR, the UN Refugee AgencyBBC NewsThe New York TimesReutersWashington PostCNN International

Posted by QATRA TV AF on Saturday, July 28, 2018

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=441994122952060&id=101711293647013

https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=441928086291997&id=101711293647013

شکستاندن دروازه مکتب افغان-ترک توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجان

شکستاندن دروازه مکتب افغان-ترک شبرغان توسط نیرو های امنیتی مربوط به والی جوزجانARG – ارگAshraf GhaniDr. Abdullah Abdullahریاست عمومی دفتر مقام عالی ریاست جمهوریریاست اجراییه جمهوری اسلامی افغانستاندفتر شورای امنیت ملیوزارت امور داخله – د کورنیو چارو وزارتMohammad Haneef AtmarUNICEF Afghanistanلوی څارنوالی – AGODirectorate of NGOs ریاست انجوها وزارت اقتصادUNHCR, the UN Refugee AgencyBBC NewsThe New York TimesReutersWashington PostCNN International

Posted by QATRA TV AF on Saturday, July 28, 2018

Previous AST coverage on Afghan-Turk schools:

https://silencedturkey.org/turkish_teachers_afghanistan

https://silencedturkey.org/int-witch-hunt-afghan-turkish-teachers

https://silencedturkey.org/fate-of-four-afghan-turk-teachers-remains-uncertain

https://silencedturkey.org/missing-teachers-in-afghanistan

Read more

Turkish Teachers in Afghanistan

The National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghan intelligence agency, abducted four teachers including one Afghan and three Turkish nationals from one of the schools run by the Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE) on 12 December 2017. While three Turkish nationals and one Afghan teacher were released, two Turkish nationals are still under house arrest and face possible deportation to Turkey.

The ATCE was founded by Gulen inspired Turkish businessmen and teachers and has been running several schools in different cities of Afghanistan since 1995. Despite all the difficulties in the region, the ATCE has continued to maintain its services believing that education is the only way to overcome those difficulties.

Former Deputy Minister of Education, Sediq Patman classified the situation as “politically motivated and unethical.” Former NDS chief has also defined the move as unprecedented in recent years, also as a shameful act for the government. According to former government officials, the raid by the NDS was illegal in the sense that the security forces have been used by the government leaders for political objectives. Despite these statements, there has not been an official comment on the incidence, neither by the government nor the intelligence agency.

Moreover, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani traveled to Istanbul a day before the incidence (12/11/17) to attend a summit organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Ministry of Education said, “it was satisfied with the functioning of these schools, but decision on their fate rested with President Ghani.” Reportedly few days before the operation, the Turkish government announced arrest warrant on teachers’ name for taking part in the so-called coup attempt. Documents indicate that the UN has provided asylum protection to one of the abducted teachers and asked authorities not to extradite him to Turkey.

The operation against the ATCE is part of a Turkish campaign against the followers of Fethullah Gulen who is a Turkish cleric which lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S. He promotes a moderate form of Islam, supports inter-faith communication and inspires to promote education in different parts of the world. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses him of orchestrating the failed coup-attempt. Mr. Gulen has strongly been denying all the allegations.

As the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, we strongly request your assistance to remind the Afghan authorities to ensure that the individuals at risk avoid expulsion in Turkey, where they would, with a great deal of certainty, be subject to torture and ill-treatment. We do believe that this is also an important moment to act in accordance with the Constitution of Afghanistan and relevant provisions of accepted international human rights treaties, in particular, CAT Article 3. We further believe that this is also an opportunity to demonstrate Afghanistan’s resolute commitment to upholding the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, ahead of its upcoming UN Human Rights Council membership.

Read AST’s statement on the Turkish teachers in Afghanistan : https://silencedturkey.org/missing-teachers-in-afghanistan

Read more on the situation of Turkish teachers in Afghanistan : https://silencedturkey.org/fate-of-four-afghan-turk-teachers-remains-uncertain
http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/12278-erdogan-s-long-shadow-reaches-g-len-s-schools-afghanistan

Download sample statement as a word document: AST_Letter_Teachers_in_Afghanistan

Download UPDATED (4/5/18) statement as a word document: AST_Sample_Letter-Afghanistan_Updated_4/5/18

We urge everyone to take action. Express your views or send attached statement to the following addresses:

1. Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan
Twitter: @ashrafghani
Phone: 0202104444, 0202104445
(Can be reached through the Acting Spokesperson for the President’s Office)

Shah Hussain Murtazawi, Acting Spokesperson for the President’s Office
Phone: +93 (0) 728 998 907
Email: murtazawi84@yahoo.com

2. Salahuddin Rabbani. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Malek Asghar St. Kabul, Afghanistan
Phone: 0093 (0) 20 2100372, 0093 (0) 20 2100371
Email: info@mfa.af
Twitter: @mfa_afghanistan
http://mfa.gov.af/en/form/contactus

3. Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States
Address: Embassy of Afghanistan, 2341 Wyoming Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202-483-6410
Fax: 202-483-6488
Twitter: @hmohib
info@afghanembassy.ushttps://www.afghanembassy.us/contact-us/

4. Mahmoud SAIKAL, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in New York
Address: 633 Third Avenue Floor 27A, New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-972 1212
Fax: 212-972 1216
@AfghanMissionUN
info@afghanistan-un.org

5. U.S. Embassy Kabul
Phone: (00 93) (0)700-10-8000
Fax: (00 93) (0)700-108-564
@USEmbassyKabul
KabulACS@state.gov

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