Gov´t Declines Erdogan´s Request to Shut Down Schools

Wednesday, 03 August 2016 , 12:00:00 WIB - International

Students´ activities at the schoolyard of Fatih School. The school was a humanitarian aid from the people of Turkey for Aceh that was struck by an earthquake and tsunami in 2004, in Banda Aceh, Aceh, Friday (29/7).

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS - Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a request to the Indonesian government through the Turkey Embassy. He asked the government to stop cooperating with numerous education institutions that are allegedly connected to Fethullah Gulen. However, the Indonesian government denied his request. The Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir stated that Indonesia won't grant the request for several reasons.

The cooperation between Indonesia and Turkey on education ended last year, so Indonesian education institutions have no more connection with Turkish Government.

Turkish Embassy asked the Indonesian government to shut down nine schools that are allegedly connected to PASIAD, a non-governmental organization (NGO) found by Fethullah Gulen. Fethullah Gulen is accused of provoking a coup against Erdogan's government.

However, Indonesia denied Erdogan's request because the PASIAD schools don't defy the Indonesian law so the government has no rights to shut down the schools. Arrmanatha said firmly that the accusation thrown by the Turkish Government to the schools could be wrong.

Despite this, he stated that Indonesia respects and understands the current situation in Turkey. However, Turkey also has to understand and comply with the rules of the international agreement.

He asserted that Indonesia has a principle to act neutral by not intervening another country, and the other states have to abide by the principle.

Separately, the House's Commission X member Dadang Rusdiana said that Turkish Government can't intervene the authority of Indonesia. Moreover, they can't prove that the schools are involved in a radical movement in another country. "Indonesia never supports any radical movement," Dadang said in Jakarta, Tuesday (2/8).

According to him, if the government obeys the request, the nation's dignity would be tarnished by the foreign intervention.

The House of Representatives appreciates the Education and Culture Ministry's decision to decline the request from the Turkish government that asked the Indonesian government to shut down the schools that are allegedly connected with Gulen's network. The House's Commission X Deputy Chairman, Ferdiansyah, asked Turkish government not to intervene the independence of Indonesia.

The Education and Culture Minister, Muhadjir Effendy, has asserted that their cooperation with PASIAD has ended since November 2015. Their agreement with PASIAD on the schools' management had stopped, so the ministry refused to shut down the schools as requested by Turkey.

One of the schools, Kharisma Bangsa, thanked the government for declining the request. Vice Principal of the school, Nurhadi, said that none of the students' parents are affected by the issue or the Turkish government accusation to the schools.

Previously, the Rector of the State Islamic University (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, Dede Rosyada, also asserted that the partnership between UIN Jakarta and Turkish education institution has ended. Gulen Chair's contract with the university expired before Ramadan.

Dede stated that UIN Jakarta wants the partnership to be based on Government-to-Government (G to G) connection, not based on a relationship with an NGO. (dtc)