Turkish envoy in Nigeria rejects 'espionage' claims

Published 06.04.2017 00:46

The Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) is acting against Turkey in Nigeria, Ankara's ambassador to the West African nation has told Anadolu Agency.

Hakan Çakıl said FETÖ – blamed for Turkey's July 15, 2016 coup attempt – was continuously circulating false news about the Turkish president, government and some Turkish representatives in Nigeria.

"We have reduced these propaganda activities since March as a result of the work we have done," he said.

In February, the Center for Quranic Reciters of Nigeria claimed Turkey's Maarif Foundation and its Presidency of Religious Affairs, or Diyanet, could be used to spread a "culture of intolerance" or "partake in other acts of espionage that may undermine or threaten our national interest."

The Maarif Foundation was established after the 2016 coup attempt to take over the administration of overseas FETÖ-linked schools.

Local media cited the group as saying the Diyanet had spied on the orders of the Turkish government in Nigeria and in 37 other countries.

"It is never possible for Turkey to engage in any espionage or other harmful activity against Nigeria or the people of Nigeria," Çakıl said.

He also said Turkey's promotional activities in Nigeria were continuing.

Çakıl said the Diyanet had provided scholarships for Nigerian students, as well as support for elementary schools in the capital Abuja and opened water wells in the region.

Turkey has warned countries about FETÖ, which has established a network of schools and educational institutes around the world.

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