Court decision to cancel transformation of Istanbul school into İmam Hatip not enforced

Ferhat Yaşar/ DUVAR

Despite a court’s decision to cancel the transformation of the İsmail Tarman Middle School in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district into an religious school, the school remains closed. Area residents have been staging demonstrations every day based on the fact that their children are being prevented from going to the shuttered school. 

Lawyer Arzu Becerik said that a process began in 2016 to transform schools in Beşiktaş to religious schools given that it is a notably secular district that overwhelmingly votes for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). 

“If we do it in Beşiktaş, we can do it everywhere, is the actual message they are trying to send,” Becerik said. 

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has opened thousands of İmam Hatip (religious schools) across the country in an effort that critics say amounts to imposing the creation of a pious generation from the top down, even in areas where the residents are not religious and do not want their children to be sent to such schools. 

“After an Istanbul court cancelled the decision, we went to the district National Education Administration in order for the decision to be implemented. They said that the [relevant] instructions had to be sent to them [first]. We spoke with the office of the legal councellor, and they said that instructions would be given regarding the implementation of the Istanbul court’s decision, but the next day the office of the legal councellor was removed from duty. As they do not recognize the law here, we see that they are creating intimidation and making this difficult for us,” Becerik said, adding that the government was trying to send the message that “regardless of what ever they do, they will not achieve their desired result.”

Becerik said that parents in the area have been involved in the process and that they have filed a lawsuit and continue to send petitions regarding the manner.

from Duvar English

About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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