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A security guard directs traffic outside Phnom Penh's Zaman International School last month.
A security guard directs traffic outside Phnom Penh's Zaman International School last month. Hong Menea

Turkey again calls for closure of Zaman schools

Turkish Ambassador to Cambodia Ilhan Tug used a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhon yesterday to again make his case for the closure of the Kingdom’s Zaman schools, according to spokesman Chum Sounry, who said the request will be taken into consideration.

In July, Tug said his country was seeking the closure of all schools affiliated with the Gulen Movement, founded by Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government has accused of being the mastermind behind a recent attempted coup.

But Hakan Atasever, public relations director for Zaman, yesterday said school officials remain ready to cooperate and trust that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related offices “will act objectively and fair while handling this issue”.

But “we repeat again, it is the duty of [Tug] to provide solid evidence to his claims, if he has [evidence], of course”, he said.

Tug said several issues were discussed during the meeting, including the recent terrorist attack in Turkey that took the lives of 54 people.

He added that both parties also talked about “cooperation” in Turkey’s fight against Fethullah Gulen, but wasn’t able to disclose details.

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