Historical Greek building in Turkey converted into Islamic religious school
The building was constructed by its former Greek inhabitants as a school in 1879, before being turned into a school for fishermen.A historic building in the coastal Marmara town of Erdek that was used as a Greek school in the 19th century has been converted into an imam-hatip high school, a religious vocational school, after remaining idle for five years.
Erdek Turizm, a local newspaper, noted that the local authority of cultural heritage and the provincial authorities had approved the decision regarding the building, which was renovated in 2012.
Locals told the Hürriyet Daily News that efforts were continuing to open the facility this school year, which starts next month. Some also raised concerns that the historic identity of the building might be lost.
The building was constructed by the former Greek inhabitants as a school in 1879 before being turned into a school for fishermen.
It was used as a hospital during World War I, offering treatment to many soldiers injured at the Battle of Gallipoli.
The building, which was then turned into a normal school, served as the Atatürk Primary School until 2007, before being emptied.
İmam-hatip schools are currently a hot topic in Turkey, with a new regulation practically forcing families to register their kids in high schools focused on religious education if they fail to qualify for other more secular institutions.
A crowd gathered in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district Aug. 25 to protest against the transformation of one local high school into a specialist imam-hatip school.