Motion may change minority school law

Motion may change minority school law

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Motion may change minority school law

The current law obliges minority schools in Turkey to recruit Turkish language and culture teachers, which is antidemocratic, according to some. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

The abolition of the law preventing minority schools from selecting their own teachers has come onto the agenda, with a motion submitted by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Van deputy Nazmi Gür.

Gür submitted a motion to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on April 10 for the abolition of the Law no. 6581 about “Turkish and Turkish Culture Teachers at Minority Schools,” which is regarded as one of the most critical problems faced by minority schools. Due to this law, which entered into force on May 20, 1955, teachers who were appointed to minority schools for five years experienced problems with the schools’ administrations, and also had many difficulties with regard to school enrollments. Gür’s motion has raised hopes for a new law that would guarantee the rights of minority schools.

Speaking to the Daily News, Minority Schools Coordinator Karekin Barsamyan said that even the introduction of such a motion represented a historic step. “If we had heard that such an improvement would occur just 10 years ago, we wouldn’t have believed it. The current law shackles us in terms of assigning teachers. We want to choose our teachers by ourselves, otherwise we could experience serious problems,” Barsamyan said.

Stating that the current law did not meet the needs of today, he added that a new law guaranteeing the rights of minority schools could be brought to the agenda if the motion is accepted.

Barsamyan said the motion had stimulated great excitement among the minority school  administrations. “In order for us to raise qualified individuals who respect human rights and have a broad insight of democracy, we need a new law which is more up-to-date,” he said.

Barsamyan also said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government had taken the most important steps so far in the history of the Turkish Republic. “Various difficulties were created for parents by saying that their documents were insufficient. Parents therefore even stepped back from sending their children to our schools,” he said.