Govt vetting Turkish tourists for Gulen links

Published On: August 23, 2016 01:10 AM NPT By: Kamal Pariyar

KATHMANDU, Aug 23: As per the request from the Government of Turkey, authorities in Nepal have intensified vetting of Turkish tourists and other immigrants living in Nepal to check possible infiltration by Islamic leader and cleric Fethullah Gulen, the alleged mastermind behind the failed coup of July 15.

Based on the passport details issued by the Turkish government, the government of Nepal has been closely watching the movement and activities of Turkish tourists visiting Nepal and other immigrants living in Nepal under various visas.
Expressing serious security concerns via diplomatic channels over possible infiltration by 'suspicious people' involved in 'Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation (FETO)', the government of Turkey had provided passport details of several 'top suspects' living in Nepal.

“The government of Nepal is sensitive to all concerns expressed by the Government of Turkey and we are working to address those concerns so that nothing untoward happens in our territory,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Bharat Raj Paudel said.

Kedar Neupane, Director General at the Department of Immigration, said, “We have been vetting Turkish national visiting and staying in Nepal, but so far we have not found any suspect.”

The government of Turkey has also urged the government of Nepal to shut down all those institution and associations that are connected to FETO. In view of Turkey's concerns, the Ministry of Home Affairs has focused investigation into possible infiltration in Nepal through schools funded by Gulen Foundation.

According to Hari Lamsal, spokesperson at the Ministry of Education, there are a few schools funded by Turkish groups and the schools are operating in line with the law of Nepal. The Department of Education has been looking into the issue, he said.

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