The former Welfare Party delegate Gürcan Dağdaş calls the President Erdoğan-backed Ministry of Education's plan to close Turkish schools “a laughable attempt that lacks soul."
President Recep Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government’s plan to close Turkish schools across the globe and have them serve under the Ministry of Education, under the pretext of combating the deep state, is not the first form of persecution these prestigious institutions have faced.
In February 1997 once again the schools were again a target as the military which, through behind-the-scenes pressures, toppled over the elected government which featured the conservative Welfare Party of late Necmettin Erbakan.
“The schools were declared as dangerous for the unity of the country," stated the İstanbul delegate of the Welfare Party, Gürcan Dağdaş. One difference he notes, as a testament on the direction where the AK Party has taken, is that the venomous public attacks on the schools “is much worse” now with Erdoğan going to Africa bad-mouthing the institutions, which are some of the best in their respective countries. “At least on the 28 February, were not going across the declaring their views illegitimate, hence attempting to create a negative image on the institutions, as the President is.”
Dağdaş lauded the schools as Turkey’s “most valued export and service overseas.” Touching on the the contributions the institutions have made to the economy and diplomacy, he noted “the schools are a major contributor to Turkey’s image. Thse schools teach Turkish, waving our country’s flag.”
He added “they [the government] are only capable of seeing the schools for concrete and will not be able to remove the heart that goes into the institions.”
As for the Education Ministry, Dağdaş also called upon the government to clean up its own act, stating that the ministry-operated schools were nothing more than a safe haven for drug usage, while also pointing to the lack of any international prestige calling diplomas from these schools “a useless piece of paper.” The ex-welfare party delegate party also pointed to the vast number of university graduates in Turkey stranded looking for work.
Published on BGNNews, 1 February 2015, Sunday