Nigerian lawmakers have urged the Turkish government to apologise for arresting and deporting dozens of Nigerian students. The incident occurred earlier in October, when at least 50 students had their passports confiscated upon arrival at the Ataturk International Airport, in Istanbul. They were subsequently sent back to Nigeria.

The majority of the youths attended the Fathi University, founded by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey has blamed for a failed military coup in July.

The Istanbul university is among thousands of educational buildings Turkey has shut down in a crackdown following the failed coup.

Following the Nigerian students' deportation, members of the House of Representatives warned Turkish citizens in Nigeria risk indiscriminate arrest in retaliation for the "unjustifiable assault" on Nigerian students, the Premium Times newspaper reported.

Nigerian envoys are to meet Turkish foreign ministry officials in Ankara on 5 October to discuss the deportation.

The Turkish government has not yet commented on the incident.


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Gulen-linked schools in Nigeria

The Gulen movement – an Islamic religious and social organisation known as Hizmet – has private schools and universities in more than 180 countries.

The deportation came months after Turkish ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, asked Nigeria to close 17 Islamic schools linked to the Gulen movement. The diplomat alleged the schools were being used to recruit terrorists.

In response to Cakil's claims, Nigerian senator Shehu Sani urged the federal government to investigate the allegations.

David Otto, CEO of global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants, believes that the antagonism between the Turkish government and Himzet explains the allegations made by Cakil.

However, he told IBTimes UK there was "no credible evidence that Hizmet is recruiting potential terrorists in its schools or other known establishments".