Turkish courses launched in Athens

Turkish courses launched in Athens

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Istanbul Greeks who relocated to Greece’s Athens have started teaching their younger generations Turkish after years of avoiding the language, according to daily Hürriyet.

The lessons were opened on May 19 and will be free of charge to all children of Istanbul Greeks, who have abandoned the language due to bitter memories of relocation, as well as the existent pressure in Greek society against the use of Turkish.

Now, however, with improving relations and the extreme popularity of Turkish soap operas in the country, the Greek children are set to return to learning Turkish in a joint initiative of the Turkish Embassy in Athens and the Athens- Piraeus Consulate.

The first lessons were given to children aged seven to 12, with Ankara University graduate Zeynep Albaylar Verbis as the instructor, and will be offered for two hours every week.

“Our children will change everything,” Albaylar Verbis told daily Hürriyet. “It was a step that needed to be taken.”

Turkish Consul General Nurdan Altuntaş spoke highly of the classes, saying, “It is very important for the children to learn Turkish.”