The teachers working for the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in Kazakhstan fear reprisal in case they return back home, according to a recent report by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
At least 27 Kazakh-Turkish schools have hosted dozens of teachers hailing from Turkey until very recently. When a military coup attempt hit Turkey last summer, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government blamed the movement and its supporters regardless of where they are in the world.
The government arrested some 60,000 people at home over links to the group while calling on its foreign counterparts to punish Gülenists in their own countries.
A small group of countries, particularly in Asia, complied with Turkey’s request and deported several people including teachers, businessmen and civilians back home.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev guaranteed in August 2016 that a special commission would examine the schools and, shortly after, Education Minister Erlan Sagadiev announced that the institutions were clean. However, 11 Turkish teachers were repatriated from Kazakhstan to Turkey, Nazarbaev said adding that remaining Turkish teachers in the country were innocent and would not be sent back unless further evidence from Ankara.
RFE/RL said 20 Turkish professors from the Gülen-linked Suleyman Demirel University have left Kazakhstan due to the current political climate. And, teachers fleeing the country do not return to Turkey.
“Olzhas Kudaibergenov, an economist and member of the board of trustees at the NurOrda international school, claims teachers returning to Turkey from Kazakhstan face jail without trial or investigations,” RFE/RL said.