Turkish PM praises teachers working in conflict-hit southeast

Turkish PM praises teachers working in conflict-hit southeast

Turkish PM praises teachers working in conflict-hit southeast

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has praised teachers working in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces, who have been impacted by the renewed conflict between the country’s security forces and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in recent months.

Davutoğlu, an academic-turned politician, resorted to a new style of addressing the audience on March 31, while delivering a speech to nominee teachers being trained by the Education Ministry. He didn’t use a prompter and instead gave a lengthy lecture on the virtues of being a good teacher.

Recalling his visit to the district of Silopi in the southeastern province of Şırnak in early March, Davutoğlu mentioned a female teacher, a spouse of a military officer serving in the district, who hadn’t abandoned going to school and teaching her students despite the ongoing military operations.

“Here is the teacher we long for, [the teacher who] will give lessons in any case and nothing, neither midwinter nor terror and violence, or any barricade or holes, will prevent the teacher from reaching his class,” he said.

Davutoğlu also told an anecdote from his primary school years, when he assisted his teacher by “drafting theatrical shows” on the relevant issue. 

“While teaching the issue of politics, my professor Müzeyyen said, ‘You will be the prime minister.’ That was my first experience of the Prime Ministry. I delivered my first address by climbing on a chair. I didn’t think that I would be the prime minister. Professor Müzeyyen must have prayed so strongly that I was able to come here,” he said.