Ahmet Kara: They're distracting us with an artificial agenda
Chairman of the Minority Schools Councilors Ahmet Kara evaluated the problems experienced in Minority Education.
We talked to Ahmet Kara, President of the Association of Western Thrace Minority Schools Councilors, about the problems experienced in Turkish Minority Education in Western Thrace.
Ahmet Kara, Chairman of the Council of Councilors, said that the problems that have arisen in Minority Education, especially in recent years, cannot go beyond the efforts of some administrators to create an artificial agenda.
MİLLET: We have completed another academic year. Could you briefly evaluate this year in terms of minority education?
As the Executive Committee, we, with the support of other institutions and organizations of our minority, reacted immediately to all artificial agendas created and made efforts to solve the actual problems. We think that we have been largely successful in this. Of course, we still have a lot of work to do; we have many problems that need to be eliminated.
MİLLET: You mentioned the problems created; can you give more concrete examples?
AHMET KARA: In the first weeks of the academic year we completed, it was stated in the letters sent to the schools in the Rhodope and Meriç provinces about the Friday program, which has not actually caused any problems in practice for years, that the system that has been applied for years will no longer be implemented.
However, this issue would have been resolved much more quickly if it had been consulted with the institutions and organizations that are trying to bring minority education to a better level.
Only after the boycott, which took place with almost 100% turnout, the administration largely recoiled from its mistake, and with the new circular sent to our schools, it was regulated that the students could leave the school early to go to Friday prayers, with a declaration that the parents would only submit once.
Of course, it is a shortcoming for us that the last letter was not sent to schools in Xanthi, however when we discussed the issue, the authorities declared that it was not sent to schools in Xanthi as there was no problem in this matter, they declared to us that this practice of course also applies to minority schools in Xanthi.
In addition, there have been efforts to prevent the use of school grounds for some religious and cultural events that are part of our culture. In some cases, they even tried to prevent our children from spending time outside of school hours in the school gardens.
These behaviors are in fact efforts to create an artificial agenda to prevent discussion of the main problems of minority education and finding solutions to them.
By the way, I would like to ask the authorities here, why are the gardens of minority schools being tried to be prevented from being used in ‘hatim’ ceremonies, while the gardens of all state primary schools are opened to be used as parking lots in Xanthi Carnival?
Why are the gardens of all public schools overflowing with students and even their parents outside of school hours, and there is no problem, but minority schools are stormed for the same situation? If these behaviours aren’t efforts to cause trouble, then what are they?
MİLLET: What do you think are the concrete steps that should be taken to improve the quality of Turkish minority education?
AHMET KARA: Considering what was stated in the Western Thrace Turkish Minority Training Workshop held on 4 December with the support of the elected mufti of Xanthi and Komotini, the contributions of BTTÖB, BAKEŞ, BTAYTD, DEB Party and AOEB, I think that we will actually have solved most of the problems.
Further; Efforts to improve the physical conditions of our minority schools must now be rewarded. For example, the situation of Xanthi Minority Secondary and High School is clear and the authorities have turned a deaf ear to the calls that have been made for years.
All the attempts we have made as a council committee have been left inconclusive until today.
The problems encountered in updating the content of the books coming from Turkey and making the distribution of these books on time should be eliminated.
On the first day of the school year, these books should be ready to be distributed in schools.In addition, in accordance with the agreements between Turkey and Greece, the number of quota teachers coming from Turkey should be increased.
In our opinion, it is essential for more quota teachers to come to minority schools, especially in Xanthi, and the obstacles to this must be removed.
Of course, in order for this to happen, as we always say, the administration must be open to dialogue and have good intentions.”