9 January 2013

Somalia: 22 Somali Students Missing in Turkey

Turkish police are looking for 22 Somali students who have progressively gone missing since coming to the country in November 2011 to study on Turkish government scholarships, Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported Monday (January 7th).

The first disappearance occurred in December 2011, when two students fled their dormitory in Kayseri Province. Then in 2012, school officials in KirÅŸehir Province denied the request of 13 students to obtain their passports to leave the school, but seven of them left anyway. The most recent disappearance took place at a school in Ankara in December 2012, when three students left the school, leaving no indication of their whereabouts.

The missing students raise concern due to an incident that happened on August 25th when five Somali girls in Tekirda? Province were kidnapped by a group involved in the illegal trade of human organs. Police were able rescue the students before they were harmed, however.

In November 2011, 500 Somali students came to Turkey to study at universities on a government grant. The scholarships are part of Turkey's contribution to Somalia's development.

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