Istanbul Municipality launches body for non-Muslim students

Istanbul Municipality launches body for non-Muslim students

Istanbul Municipality launches body for non-Muslim students

Council head Samed Ağırbaş speaks about the municipality's new 'minority body'. AA Photo

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality's (İBB) Youth Council has established a “minority body” in order to find solutions to the problems of Armenian, Greek and Jewish students and to strengthen dialogue with minority schools.

The Youth Council met with teachers and students from various Armenian, Greek and Jewish schools in Istanbul and discussed the various problems of students, said council head Samed Ağırbaş.

Ağırbaş also stated that they would continue to visit minority schools to strengthen relations and put students’ problems on the agenda of the upcoming Youth Workshop, which will be held later this year.

“We have established a body to find solutions for Armenian, Greek and Jewish students ... There are 23 minority schools in Istanbul and we intend to strengthen relations with them and convey their needs to certain policymaking bodies through the Youth Council. Our organization is based on volunteer work and our members are from various parts of Istanbul. We will continue to visit non-Muslim schools and cooperate with them,” he said.

“The selected representatives of minority groups will observe the non-Muslim communities’ problems closely and together we will find solutions. The opinions of students and teachers appointed by the Education Ministry will also matter,” Ağırbaş added.

The minority body will establish a direct communication channel between students and the municipality and in the long run will turn into an institution conducting academic research on related subjects, according to Ağırbaş.

He also stated that aside from functioning as a problem-solving mechanism, they will also organize photography exhibitions and music competitions for minority schools.

“Even if we manage to succeed only to a limited extent, it will be a tremendous source of pride for us and for the city as well,” Ağırbaş said.