A number of students and teachers from the Afghan-Turk school in Herat province were arrested on Sunday morning, officials have confirmed.
According to officials from the school a number of NDS and police forces arrived at the school on Sunday morning and arrested students and teachers. They were taken to the local police HQ.
Security forces in Herat also confirmed the arrests. No details were given on exactly how many students or teachers were arrested.
Herat governor’s spokesman Jelani Farhad said that based on a court order, security forces took control of the school based on its links to the Fethullah Gulen movement.
Meanwhile, Afghan-Turk CAG Educational NGO issued a statement shortly after the arrests and condemned the move. They said it was against the constitution, civil law, criminal code and other applicable laws and international norms.
In February Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education (MoE) formally handed over the management of Afghan-Turk schools to the Turkish government, defying calls by parents and students to keep the schools under Afghan control.
Following a failed military coup in 2016, the Turkish government formally asked Afghanistan to hand over control of these schools to the Turkish government.
Turkey claims that these schools are run by Turkish cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gülen who is currently in exile in the United States.
Turkey blamed Gülen for orchestrating the failed military takeover in 2016. However, former officials from the Afghan-Turk schools have said the schools had nothing to do with politics and they only provide education to Afghan children.
According to some reports, the Turkish government reportedly offered a number of incentives in exchange for taking control of these schools.