World Bulletin / News Desk
Local media reported that Muhammed Furkan Sokmen had ties to a school linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which Ankara has accused of orchestrating last July’s attempted coup in Turkey.
Ye Htun Oo, an Immigration Ministry director, said Sokmen, his wife, identified in local media as Ayse, and their daughter were detained at Yangon International Airport on Wednesday evening as they waited to leave for Thailand.
He told Anadolu Agency the family would be deported after their passports were cancelled by the Turkish government.
“It’s in accordance with our laws to detain and deport those who have an invalid passport,” he said.
Until recently, Sokmen was the accounts director at the Horizon International School in Yangon, which has been under investigation over links to “terrorist organizations”, according to local media.
The school, which has two campuses in Yangon and one in Mandalay according to its website, was rebranded earlier this month after the Education Ministry threatened to sue for operating without a license.
Frontier news portal reported that the Education Ministry had filed a complaint to police on the grounds of “national security”.
The detention comes after the Turkish embassy in Yangon requested the arrest of a list of individuals whose passports had been cancelled, a government official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
“Some people, including a director at the Horizon International School, already left the country when the embassy informed us about the cancellation of their passports,” the official told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey has asked countries to close FETO-linked schools, colleges and businesses following the attempted coup that left 250 people dead.
Earlier this month Malaysia deported three Turkish nationals wanted by Ankara over alleged ties to FETO.
The group, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, has a large network of overseas educational and commercial interests.
A person who answered the telephone at the Turkish embassy said the ambassador would not be willing to comment on the arrests.