Turkish Education Ministry continues to use ‘race codes’: Report

Turkish Education Ministry continues to use ‘race codes’: Report

The Ministry of Education did not allow two foreign students register at a Greek (Rum) school in Istanbul as they were not of the correct ethnicity, daily Taraf has reported. 

A Greek school in Istanbul, which was unnamed in the report, accepted one Romanian and one Bulgarian student last year, but the Education Ministry said they did not belong to the correct ethnic minority group to study there. 

An official document penned by the Istanbul Provincial Education Directorate surfaced last year, revealing that Turkey’s population administration system had been recording citizens who have Armenian, Jewish or Anatolian Greek origins with secret “race codes.” 

Citizens with Greek origins are reportedly coded with “1,” but the two students who were refused at the Greek school fall into category “5” for “other Christian factors,” according to Taraf. 

The report suggested that despite criticism that arose after the Education Directorate document was revealed last year, the Turkish state was continuing to list minorities with race codes. 

The school has applied to the ministry for a solution in order not to interrupt the education of the two students, and has reportedly been advised to conduct an e-learning system for them.