On the 20th of July, the founder of Qafqaz University informed the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan of the eminent closure of the university, reports APA.
The Ministry of Education announced that after receiving the official documents from the educational institution, a working group will be formed with the purpose of aiding students who had been studying at Qafqaz University to find options for continuing their education.
According to haqqin.az and yenicag.az,the university may have had business and educational connections to Fethullah Gulen through the Turkish, CAG Ogretim Isletmeleri, ("CAG Education Enterprises"). In 2014, the rector of Qafqaz University since 2005, Ahmet Saniç, was deported from Azerbaijan in addition to the CEO of CAG Ogretim, Enver Ozeren. Another Turkish citizen, Bahri Topuz, a leading financer in the organization, was also deported. The three individuals had been singled out in a list given to the Azerbaijani government by Turkey, who noted their affiliation to the Gulen movement.
ANS television channel was closed on the 19th of July for its intention to run an interview with Fethullah Gulen during the attempted coup in Turkey.
The Azerbaijani version of Turkey's "Zaman", Zaman Azerbaycan, has also ceased its operations in Azerbaijan as of the 20th of July. The newspaper was also known for its connections to Fethullah Gulen. The newspaper posted on its personal Facebook page:
"Statement from the founders of "Zaman - Azerbaycan"
Taking into account the sensitivity of the events of recent days and their ability to affect the friendship of Turkey and Azerbaijan, we would like to inform the public that we stand by the Azerbaijani state and that from today onward, we have decided that Zaman Azerbaycan and the site zaman.az will cease their operations in the country.
Founders: Anar Qarakhanchalli, Urfan Memmedli, Penah Abdurahmanli"
However, earlier in the day, four hours before this final announcement, the company posted on their Facebook site the following service announcement:
"For technical reasons, our site is temporarily not working. We intend to solve the problem as soon as possible and restore functionality to the site."
Free Press Day in Azerbaijan will be celebrated on the 22nd of July.