Over 50 Nigerian students were yesterday arrested in Turkey, allegedly on the orders of the government, THISDAY has reliably gathered. A source whose relative was among the detained students stated that “upon arrival at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, they were all escorted to a room and their passport confiscated by Turkish police.”
The Nigerian Authorities rejected the call, stating that it would rely on evidence linking the proprietors of the schools in Nigeria to the failed coup in Turkey. In exclusive pictures obtained by THISDAY, students could be seen lying down on the bare floor in a room that could barely be habitable. Our source also hinted of a particular case of a Nigerian by name Aminat, a final year student in one of the universities affected by the closure at the time of the coup. The source said: “Aminat came to the airport to travel to Nigeria since her school had been shut, but to her surprise, she was asked to pay a penalty for entering the country illegally. She paid the fine, and she was kept, alongside others in the same room with people waiting to be deported.” THISDAY also gathered that some of those detained at the airport were made to sign documents giving their consent to deportation from Turkey. An e-mail to the Turkish embassy on why the students were detained was not responded to as at the time of going to press.