One Afghan and three Turkish teachers with links to the Gülenist terror group (FETÖ) were detained by Afghan intelligence officials on Tuesday, Reuters said, citing the FETÖ-linked organization's head.
The move against Afghan Turk CAG Educational NGO (ATCE), the body that runs the schools, appears to be part of a Turkey's diplomatic efforts to stop the activities of the terrorist group run by fugitive preacher Fetullah Gülen, who has been living in the United States since 1999 in self-imposed exile. Turkish government took its diplomatic efforts to a whole new level after last year's botched coup attempt aimed at ousting the democratically elected President Tayyip Erdoğan and the government.
ATCE, which claims it is an "independent organization," runs schools in several cities including the capital, Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar and Herat and has been in Afghanistan since 1995.
"Around 7:00 a.m., four of our teachers traveling in two different cars were picked up by [Afghan intelligence]," said Numan Erdoğan, the head of ATCE.
Other intelligence officials later went to the group's girls' school nearby looking for another teacher, he said.
He also added that the men presented themselves as members of the National Directorate of of Security (NDS), Afghanistan's intelligence agency.
Neither the NDS nor the Afghan government immediately responded to requests for comment, Reuters said.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was on his way to Istanbul on Tuesday to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit.
In March, Afghanistan agreed to cooperate with Turkey against Gülenist terror and ordered the schools to be transferred to Turkey's Maarif Foundation.
Last year, shortly before a visit to Islamabad by Erdoğan, Pakistan ordered Turkish teachers at schools run by FETÖ-linked PakTurk International Schools and Colleges to leave the country.
On July 15, a small military junta linked to the FETÖ attempted to topple the democratically elected government in Turkey and bring martial law. The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy.
249 people, consisting of mostly civilians, have been killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured. Turkey's opposition parties have united against the coup attempt, condemning it in the harshest terms and underscoring their determination to preserve democracy and rule of law in Turkey.
Gülen and his shady network are also behind a long-running campaign to infiltrate into key posts of Turkish government.