Saudi Arabia preparing to close eight Turkish schools

Saudi Arabia will close eight Turkish state-run schools in the kingdom by the end of 2020-2021 academic year, Anadolu Agency reported. Relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been at a low point since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (R) and Saudi Arabian King Salman Bin Abdulaziz (L) hold a press conference in this file photo.

Duvar English - Anadolu Agency 

Saudi Arabia will close eight Turkish schools in the capital Riyadh and other provinces by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 28, citing diplomatic sources.

Saudi Education Ministry delivered the decision in a written format to the schools in the northwestern Tabuk, Riyadh, Ta'if and Jeddah provinces, Anadolu Agency said.

Saudi officials also visited the Turkish schools in Dammam and Abha provinces to inform school authorities about the decision.

Turkish schools in Mecca and Medina provinces will also be subject to the same decision.

In the decision, the Saudi Education Ministry reportedly said: “Activities at the Turkish schools will be terminated at the end of this academic year, facilitation will be provided for students to enroll in the schools of their choice, and school administrations should inform parents about the decision.”

Diplomatic sources said that 2,256 students who are not fluent in Arabic will have difficulty if they continue their education linked to the Saudi Arabian Education Ministry.

Relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been at a low point since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, whose killing is believed to have been ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia has been maintaining an unofficial boycott on Turkish products since 2019, which led to a more than 90 percent drop in Turkish exports to the kingdom.