The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Çakil, has said that Nigerian students in
Turkey are under the protection of the Turkish government.
Çakil said this on the sideline of a dinner reception to mark the 93rd anniversary of the founding of Turkey in Abuja at the weekend.
The envoy denied reports that 50 Nigerian students were arrested and detained in Turkey in connection to the failed coup attempt.
“There were reports that about 50 Nigerians were arrested in Turkey. No Nigerian student is arrested or detained in Turkey.
“All the rights of the Nigerian students who are studying in Turkey are under the protection of the government.
“Unfortunately, this was in the media that about 50 Nigerian students were detained or under arrest; these numbers do not reflect the real situation.
“It was a discussion of a non-existent issue.”
He, however, said that ties between both countries remained strong and added that both parties sought other areas in which they could strengthen bilateral ties.
The Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also told journalists that the reported arrest of 50 Nigerian students was an exaggerated issue.
Dabiri-Erewa confirmed that the issue had been resolved diplomatically.
“The Turkish Ambassador who met with our permanent secretary made it clear that 50 Nigerian students were not detained.
“Two Nigerian students were detained for 11 hours but they were released as soon as the ministry got involved.
“Four Nigerians that they claimed were involved in the coup were released as soon as Nigeria stepped in.
“So there is no problem between Nigeria and Turkey, we continue to maintain strong diplomatic relations and we will also continue to ensure that issues are resolved diplomatically and not through sensations.’’
She, however, advised Nigerian students abroad to always abide by the laws of whatever country they were in.
She also encouraged students to patronise institutions of learning in Nigeria.
“Perhaps you do not need to go abroad because what you are looking for is also here in Nigeria and maybe even better.
“So we encourage them that under this administration the president is doing everything to make Nigeria truly a great place.
“There are some private universities here that are even better than where they are going to.
“Sometimes it is not necessary to go through all the stress our students have to go through but we just continue to educate them and raise awareness about all these issues,” she said.