Academics to investigate Turkey’s minority schools problems

Academics to investigate Turkey’s minority schools problems

PanARMENIAN.Net - A group of academics, spearheaded by the History Foundation, have launched an initiative to investigate the problems faced by 23 minority schools across Istanbul, Turkey, Hürriyet Daily News reports.

While 15 of the schools belong to the Armenian community, 5 are Greek and 1 is a Jewish school, officials said. Among the major problems are the status of guest students, the lack of class material and teachers, and regulations regarding attendance of certain schools.

“We want to show how [these] problems came about. They are all artificial problems that have to do with foreign politics and the [prevalent] attitude toward minorities,” legal expert Nurcan Kaya, the project’s researcher and writer, told the HDN.

“Armenian schools have to meet all their needs by themselves, unlike the other schools. They have no departments to train Armenian language teachers and have to acquire their education material on their own,” Kaya said.

Regulations concerning private schools in Turkey and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne allow only Turkish citizens to attend minority schools. However, the clause stipulating that only children holding Turkish citizenship can attend their own minority community’s schools was recently scrapped, in new regulations that appeared in the Official Gazette on March 20. The new regulations lead to perplexity among some educators.

“It is an important step, but with no practical consequences. Children from Armenia and Greece still cannot go to school,” said Kaya.

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