Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chairman and İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu submitted a parliamentary question to Education Minister Nabi Avcı on Thursday, asking him whether the government's decision to force the closure of private prep schools (dershanes) is tied to the fact that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son-in-law has allegedly made business investments in the same field.
Tanrıkulu asked Avcı whether the prep schools have been closed in order to give a monopoly to Erdoğan's son-in-law Berat Albayrak. In a highly controversial move, the government announced its decision to ban privately owned prep schools, which provide additional education to students who would like to do better in the competitive national university entrance exams.
Tanrıkulu submitted the following questions:
Is it true that Berat Albayrak established an education company called BTİ Educational Institutions on April 9, 2014, which was registered at the İstanbul Chamber of Commerce under record number 918267/0?
Has the aforementioned company applied to the Ministry of Education to open schools, boarding schools, vocational schools, prep schools and private student dormitories?
Does the persistence of the AK Party in closing private prep schools stem from the desire to see them reopened at a later date by businessmen who are supporters of the party?
Does the government want to close private prep schools by inventing the notion of a “parallel structure” in order to provide a new area of investment to Erdoğan's son-in-law?
Tanrıkulu also asked whether any state institutions have received any services from the company of Erdoğan's son-in-law.
The government passed a law this year that requires prep schools to become private schools by 2015. However, the majority of prep schools in the country are unable to meet the requirements and so will be forced to close.
Published on Today's Zaman, 03 July 2014, Thursday