By Victoria Ojeme
The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, has countered a report accusing the embassy of denying visas to Nigerian students intending to study in the country.
Bayraktar rather said that Turkiye and Nigeria relation is based on a long-standing friendship and history and that the embassy sees Nigerian students who are planning, presently studying or have graduated in Türkiye, as a bridge of culture and friendship between the countries and an asset to their shared bilateral relations. “They are the honorary Ambassadors of Türkiye to Nigeria,” he said.
“We as Turkish Embassy in Abuja, would like to rectify and set in order the facts portrayed in an article titled “Group raises alarm over alleged denial of visas to Nigerian students” on 16th January.
“We would like to remind you that, in any circumstances, visa applications are treated on their merits and not on political basis, and decisions are taken on objective grounds.
“In order not to go into details, there are certain conditions that are expected to be fulfilled by the applicants for the issuance of Turkish entry visa. For example, if there is any fraud detected in any of the required documents submitted; such as a forged acceptance letter, bank account statement/declaration or if the applicant with an obtained prior visa has already stayed over 90 days during the current 180-day period on the territory of Türkiye, visa application shall be denied immediately.
“We believe that the source to the article “Da’wah and Guidance Bureau of Nigeria”, needs to fact-check their claims before tarnishing the image of the Republic of Türkiye and the Turkish Embassy.
“It would have been more appropriate to approach the Embassy for clarification of these accusations, before publishing the article. Given that, they did not have any bad intentions or being influenced/guided by certain circles in Nigeria,” the ambassador said in the statement.
A group known as Da’wah and Guidance Bureau of Nigeria (DGBN) had called on the Federal Government to immediately intervene over the alleged denial of Visas to Nigerian Students, who want to pursue their academic careers in Turkey.
The Secretary-General of DGBN, Alhaji Aliyu Enya Okoche alleged that Nigerian Students were being denied visas, despite the financial commitment they had made towards their studies and travel overseas.
“Our research findings further revealed that students are made to pay full or sometimes half admission fees to Turkish Universities and yet are denied a visa, which we suspect is in connivance with the Turkish Ambassador in Nigeria, thereby extorting Nigerians who are genuinely seeking admission to study in Turkey,” he said.
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