Two teachers from Afghan-Turk high schools, who have been under house arrest for the past year, are still facing an unknown fate and their defense attorney says the two Turkish citizens are suffering psychological issues and that no government institution, including the Presidential Palace, is paying attention.
Niaz Mohammad Husainkhel, a defense attorney, said he has taken the issue to the Presidential Palace, the United Nations, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the National Directorate of Security and the Supreme Court, but according to him, none have given any clear response about the fate of the two teachers.
The families of the teachers live abroad, but they are banned from travelling into Afghanistan.
The problem with Afghan-Turk schools emerged after the failed coup in Turkey in 2016. Following this incident, the Turkish government brought Afghan-Turk schools in Afghanistan under control of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
In line with this, the Afghan government last year arrested a number of teachers from schools. Yulmaz Aitin and Sami Yaoz were among them.
“They are suffering from psychological issues, they are under house arrest which in itself is punishment. It is a punishment without the verdict of a court,” the defense attorney said.
The Ministry of Education said an agreement needs to be reached between the two governments on this matter.
“The Education Ministry of Turkey is responsible for sharing its issues with the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, so a decision can be made on the teachers' fate,” said Nooria Nazhat Nijrabi, spokesperson for Ministry of Education.
Sami Yaoz has two sons and three daughters and Yulmaz has two daughters, who have asked for the release of their parents.
“I demand my father be released. He has not committed a wrongful act. He was a teacher at school,” said Maryam, Yulmaz’s daughter.
The arrest of the Afghan-Turk teachers happened last year in December when a group of security forces launched an operation on their school in Kabul.
Zainab Amin, an Afghan-Turk school student in Kabul, said they are concerned.
“We are fearful. Both teachers and students feel this and that the fate of the two remains unknown,” said Amin.
“The Afghan government should clarify why Afghan-Turk schools are faced with such a fate. This affects the morale of students and teachers,” said Zahida, mother of an Afghan-Turk student.
Afghan-Turk high schools have been active in Afghanistan for the past 12 years.