'Closure of minority schools is against the Treaty of Lausanne'

Western Thrace
Thu, 20 Jul 2023 8:26 GMT
Western Thrace Turkish Teachers' Union (BTTÖB) issued a statement on the closure of nine Turkish minority primary schools with the decision of the Ministry of Education. In its statement, BTTÖB emphasised that the closure of minority schools is against the Treaty of Lausanne. In the statement, it was stated that although the minority organisations reacted against the closure of schools, the authorities of the country did not take the minority as an interlocutor.
'Closure of minority schools is against the Treaty of Lausanne'

Western Thrace Turkish Teachers' Union (BTTÖB) issued a statement on the closure of nine Turkish minority primary schools with the decision of the Ministry of Education. In its statement, BTTÖB emphasised that the closure of minority schools is against the Treaty of Lausanne. In the statement, it was stated that although the minority organisations reacted against the closure of schools, the authorities of the country did not take the minority as an interlocutor.

"EVERY YEAR WE START THE ACADEMIC YEAR WITH BITTERNESS"
BTTÖB made the following statement: "The children, parents and teachers of the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace have been starting each new academic year with sadness and bitterness for years. All minority people are worried about how many more schools will be closed this year and how many more schools will be chained.

Our country Greece is steadily continuing its traditional determination to close minority schools. Hearing that nine more schools of the minority were closed two months before the 2023-2024 academic year has upset and offended every member of our minority. According to the decision taken by the Ministry of Education, the minority primary schools in the villages of Yahyabeyli (Amaranta), Hacımustafaköy (Amfia), Değirmendere (Darmeni), Gerdeme (Kato Kardamos), Ortakışla (Porpi), Sasallı (Salpi), Baraklı (Stilarion) in Rhodope Province and the minority primary schools in the villages of Salıncak (Eora) and Mizanlı (Palio Zigo) in Xanthi Province are unfortunately being closed.

Regardless of the status of the minority schools, the closure of the schools on the pretext of economic savings and lack of children is contrary to the Treaty of Lausanne. For years, all institutions and organisations of the minority have shouted and continue to shout loudly their reactions and concerns against school closures in this regard. However, the authorities of our country have never taken the minority as an interlocutor and have never consulted with the minority. In short, decisions concerning the minority have been taken without consulting the minority until today. With these unilateral decisions, the number of minority schools, which was 194 13 years ago, was reduced to 90 with the latest decision."

"IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE STATE TO ESTABLISH DIALOGUE"
In the written statement made by BTTÖB, it was emphasized that the state should establish dialogue with the minority institutions regarding the minority schools. In the statement, it was stated that the practice of school closures should be reversed immediately: "Neither school closures nor mergers to date have made any positive contribution to education. This practice, which aims only to reduce the number of schools, should be reversed immediately. Minority schools are a cultural wealth of this country. These schools have raised individuals who are loyal to their country and respectful to the law. For this reason, it is essential for the state to establish a dialogue with minority institutions in order to improve the quality of education in these schools and to fulfil the requirements of modern education in these schools.

I invite all members of the minority and all those who hear this cry to think once again about the minority schools that are being lost one by one. When we completely lose the minority schools, which are our future, neither the problems of minority education, nor minority education, nor a minority will remain. I think it should be the duty of every minority individual to fight for our schools by preserving hope for the future of our minority."

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