The Supreme Court on Friday directed the interior ministry to declare Pak-Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEF) a proscribed organisation and ordered that the control of educational institutions, being run by the PTICEF, be handed to Turkiye Maarif Foundation.
On December 13, a local lawyer Sohail Sajid had filed a constitutional petition in the Supreme Court and requested it to declare the group a terrorist outfit in the country. The petitioner had also requested that the custody of Pak-Turk Schools be granted to Turkiye Maarif Foundation.
Announcing its verdict in the aforementioned case, the apex court ordered the interior ministry to include the name of PTICEF in the first schedule to Section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.
The apex court also directed the country’s financial institutions to immediately freeze the bank accounts of PTICEF and give the custody of such assets to Turkiye Maarif Foundation.
Editorial: Pak-Turk schools saga
The Pak-Turk schools are administered by a foundation linked to Fethullah Gulen, once an ally of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan. However, since the abortive coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish leadership has blamed Gulen for sponsoring the overthrow attempt, resulting in a global crackdown on the religious and educational network led by him.
Ankara accuses Gulen of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.