Buses halted from reaching opposition rally in Ankara: deputy
DHA PhotoBuses carrying participants to Ankara's Tandoğan Square, where the main opposition is planning to hold its parliamentary group meeting today to protest the government's education bill, have been prevented from reaching their destination, deputy Gürsel Tekin has said.
Tekin of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said hundreds of buses had been kept outside Ankara.
"I will call the Interior Ministry immediately to complain," Tekin was quoted as saying by daily Hürriyet.
The CHP deputy said they had taken the necessary precautions to stop any provocations, including collecting banners that may cause unrest during the rally.
"There are groups wanting to sabotage the meeting," Tekin said. "We worked out the identities of these groups. Yet such attempts may still happen during the rally."
The opposition and civic groups have mobilized against the government’s education bill, with teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen also deciding to strike for two days in protest of the bill on March 28 and 29.
The new education bill, which would increase mandatory education from eight to 12 years, divided into three four-year tiers, has come under fire for permitting the introduction of vocational schooling, including religious education, after four years, as well as a home-study option after eight years that many believe will be detrimental to girls’ education. The exclusion of preschool from the 12-year compulsory program has also been widely criticized.