Only PKK supporters and secularists oppose school reforms, says AKP minister
Only supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and secularists oppose the recent 4+4+4 reforms in education, Turkish Education Minister Ömer Dinçer said during an interview with daily Akşam's İsmail Küçükkaya.
"A majority of normal citizens support us," Dinçer said. "Citizens want to send their kids to school, even at 66 months of age."
Dinçer said members and supporters of the PKK opposed the new law because it meant an earlier education in Turkish for children.
"Those who say, 'Don't even get medical reports [to show that the children are not developmentally ready for school at 66 months]' are the supporters of PKK," Dinçer said. "They want to stop us [from teaching children in Turkish]. And the secular people are upset over the reforms."
When questioned on the issue of religious imam-hatip schools, Dinçer told Akşam they had nothing to do with the new system.
"We did not start this for imam-hatips," Dinçer said. "It does not have anything to do with imam-hatips. We are making the Turkish education system more democratic and more flexible. Obviously we took into account the wishes and needs of the conservative, religious section of the society. They have been victimized in earlier systems."
Dinçer accused "supposed education experts" of creating the existing "chaos" in the system.
"We've been preparing ourselves for the past six months," Dinçer said. "[The new system] has not been rushed."