RIGHTS > Lack of instructors hampers efforts for teaching Circassian

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Vercihan Ziflioğlu Vercihan Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

The Higher Education Board (YÖK) and the Education Ministry have responded positively to demands from Turkey’s 5.5 million Circassians for education in their native language.

Following the first steps taken by Mardin Artuklu University to offer Kurdish-language education in 2011, YÖK has now permitted Erciyes, Sakarya and Düzce Universities to open Circassian professorships. Because the number of instructors is not sufficient yet,Circassian education cannot begin this year.

Granting permission is not enough; the state also has to find instructors, Caucasian Associations Federation head Necip Kadıoğlu said, speaking to Hürriyet Daily News.

Lack of instructors

Erciyes University will not offer Circassian education next term for lack of instructors, said Üstün Tuncer of the university’s Press and Public Relations department.

Also, because there is no instructor available, Düzce University cannot start its Circassian program, even though YÖK has approved it, said Student Affairs Department head Tahir Güney.

The department of Caucasian Languages in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was recently opened, and preparations are underway to start classes next year, Tahir said. When asked whether instructors could not be brought from Circassia, Güney said it was not possible without the approval of YÖK.
“Since there are already many foreign instructors working in Turkey, they cannot prevent [us from] bringing instructors from our homeland. We cannot tolerate that,” Kadıoğlu said. “The state charged
Mardin Artuklu University for Kurdish education. That means concrete steps can also be taken about Circassian if they wish.”

Negotiations with the Board of Education and Discipline are ongoing and coming to an end, and the federation demanded that class minimums for native language education be abolished, Kadıoğlu said.
A 10-person minimum was put forward for native-language education in primary and middle schools. According to the condition, there must be at least 10 students in a class.

“We are insistently emphasizing that education in one’s native language should start from preschool. Also the condition of 10 students for optional native-language education is not very reasonable,” Kadıoğlu said. The federation also expects state support for textbooks, he said, adding that they will demand their rights until the end.

Once education begins to be offered in Circassian, the instructor problem will be solved within a few years, Kadıoğlu said.


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Notice on comments

Circassian Kaberdey

8/14/2012 4:04:04 PM

Look at another comment: "If these people are living in Turkey and planning to live in Turkey then why are they demanding that they should receive education in a language other than Turkish? " do you have exile plans of Circassians ? What a big crime to be learned mother tongue in schools which are also financed Circassian taxpayer. How you can say democracy can not allow to educated in mother tongue. If so Turks that are live in Macedonai Bulgaria, Germany, Greece and so on should not be educat

Circassian Kaberdey

8/14/2012 3:59:40 PM

If you defend and insist your opinion for Turkish speakers out of Turkey,namely they have no right to be educated in Turkish language, it is ok. Look at the comment: "why are they demanding that they should receive education in a language other than Turkish? That is absurd. They would be disadvantaged in every brunch of the society. " what a discriminative approach. Do you like same approach is occured in Germany against Turks ?

Circassian Kaberdey

8/14/2012 3:53:57 PM

What is your problem, what disturbs you on education of circassian language. Circassians ar citizenship of Turkey and the have natural rights to be learned their language. If you are chummy in your opinion, let share same opinion for Turkish speakers in Bulgaria, Macedonia and so on. A Turkish speaker in Macedonia why learn Turkish language at schools which belong to Macedonian State ? If those people are living in Macedonia and planning live in Macedonia why they are demanding to be educated

turk oz

7/26/2012 7:59:41 PM

The # 5.5 is not high, many Circassians lived and died in Turkey and many many left for other countries. Like Dr. Mehmet Oz's mother and Oscar winner Meryl Streep's grandmother were Circassians. My parents did not speaks Circassians with us they wanted us to learn Turkish language first. I do understand the need to teach children their ethnic language but at the same time I strongly feel the only first language should be TURKISH. But classes can be offered on selectively.

Agnes Smith

7/26/2012 1:20:44 PM

If Ankara could just get on top of this before the demands, wouldn't life be easier for all concerned. Private colleges they must be but backed with some sponsorship from the government to show their positive intentions. It is always too little very late in TK which adds to so much frustration. I am not too sure though if the current admin wants to really educate anyone in Turkish or otherwise, if the truth be told. Arabic maybe.

Tayyar Abi

7/26/2012 11:17:46 AM

Agree with Turk Uzan and Tekion Particle. You can learn any language you want if you pay for it yourself.

Thracian Anatolian

7/26/2012 11:13:31 AM

5.5 million? Where on earth did this number come from? Number of Circassians is way lower than that.

Tekion Particle

7/26/2012 2:35:37 AM

I don't get it. If these people are living in Turkey and planning to live in Turkey then why are they demanding that they should receive education in a language other than Turkish? That is absurd. They would be disadvantaged in every brunch of the society. Even the most advanced democracies would not agree to creating pockets of varying education systems within their society. Imagine a job application, I have a degree in Circassian but can barely speak Turkish. Good luck with that then.

Turk Uzan

7/26/2012 2:22:35 AM

There are between 180 000 and 2 million circassians in Turkey, your 5.5 million is totally false and unrealistic That said, Turkey's common (official) language is Turkish, how is there even a discussion on people getting (elementary school) educations based on their races? It's very reasonable to ask for a class to contain at least 10 students of a particular race to get these special classes. Who pays for them? Should we hire new teachers because one student is Kurd or Circassian?
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