Monrovia – President George Weah government has bowed to pressure from the Turkish President and deported Light International School Turkish staff members loyal to Mr. Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, rival of President Erdoğan.
Our sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have revealed that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had tried to convince former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to do a similar thing during her administration but the Nobel Laureate refused.
The speedy abduction and deportation of the Light International School Turkish Officials is Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan way of silencing his political rival and Chief financier of the school, Mr. Muhammed Fethullah Gülen, who is currently seeking political asylum in the United States.
Mr. Gülen was once an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but he is now accused of establishing and running an “armed terrorist group” and the master-minder of the attempted coup in 2016 – a claim the cleric strongly denies.
It is believed that Washington D.C. will unlikely act on any extradition request. The move comes amid a crackdown on Gülenists. Over 20 journalists believed to be sympathetic to the Gulen movement have been arrested.
Since the attempted coup in 2016, the government of Turkey has been cracking down on perceived supporters of the Gullan Movement, which practices moderate Islam in every part of the world.
It can be recalled the officers of the National Security Agency (NSA), on Wednesday, April 20, abducted and deported Roman Mamedov, Principal and General Manager of the Turkish Light International school, located at Airfield shortcut and other Turkish staff along with their families.
CCTV footage of the arrest of the Light international School Turkish Staff
The speedy deportation happened just a month after President Weah returned from Turkey where he and President Erdogan discussed wide-ranging issues of multilateral and bilateral interests to both Liberia and Turkey covering areas of global peace and security, the consolidation of diplomatic ties, economic and security cooperation as well as education and business links between both countries.
President Weah’s visit to Turkey in March came after several informal meetings with President Erdogan in Lome, Togo, and Dakar, Senegal.
The Executive Mansion reported that President Erdogan stressed the need for the improvement in diplomatic relations between Liberia and Turkey through the establishment of embassies in both Capitals.
“Liberia is very strategic and important and Turkey is keen to deepen our relations with your country in many areas that will be of mutual benefit.” – Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkish Business in Liberia
Turkey has some business investment in Liberia and since coming to power, President Weah has been under pressure from the Turkey President to deport the Gullan supporters in Liberia. MNG Gold, a Turkish company, is said to be one of the business investments.
It can be recalled that MNG Gold damaged Liberia’s waterways in Kokoyah, Bong County when its trucks carrying dangerous chemicals wasted leaving dozens of people injured as a result of the incident. Environmental experts say pollution to the Liberia soil caused by MNG gold could haunt the country in the near future.