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Turkey requests Cambodia to close schools linked with movement behind coup attempt

Xinhua, August 22, 2016 Adjust font size:

The Turkish government on Monday formally requested Cambodia to shut down the Zaman schools in Cambodia, accusing the educational institutions of affiliation with a network that was behind the attempted military coup.

Turkey's Ambassador to Cambodia Ilhan Kemal Tug made the request during a meeting with Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, said Cambodia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry.

"The Turkish ambassador briefed the minister about the latest situation in Turkey and raised with the minister a Turkish government's request which wants Cambodia to shut down the Zaman schools in Phnom Penh," he told reporters after the meeting.

For his part, Prak Sokhonn condemned the bloody coup in Turkey last month, and promised to take the request into consideration, according to the spokesman.

In a press briefing in Phnom Penh on July 18, Ambassador Tug called on Cambodia to close the Zaman schools, claiming that the schools had affiliation with the Gulen Movement, which was founded by cleric Fehullah Gulen, who has been labeled a terrorist by Turkey since 2013 and accused of being behind the coup.

There are three Zaman school campuses in Cambodia, along with a university serving over 2,000 students. Endit