MINELRES: ABTTF News: The problems of the Turkish minority of Western Thrace in the field of education were carried to the UN Forum on Minority Issues

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Fri Dec 26 16:33:03 2008


Original sender: ABTTF <news@abttf.org>


Press Release 

The problems of the Turkish minority of Western Thrace in the field of
education were carried to the UN Forum on Minority Issues
 
The first session of the United Nations (UN) Forum on Minority Issues,
of which thematic focus was “Minorities and the Right to Education”,
took place on 15 and 16 December 2008 in Palais des Nations in Geneva,
Switzerland. The Forum will meet annually for two working days allocated
to thematic discussions. Representing the Federation of Western of
Western Thrace Turks in Europe (ABTTF), Melek Kirmaci, member of ABTTF
International Affairs Department and Kamuran Omer Oglou, member of ABTTF
Executive Board, and representing the Western Thrace Minority University
Graduates Association, Cemil Kabza, former Chairman, and Pervin
Hayrullah, Vice-Chairwoman, participated in the Forum, which was
organized under the guidance and leadership of Ms. Gay McDougall,
Independent Expert on Minority Issues. 

The demand of the Western Thrace Turkish Minority for bilingual
kindergartens was brought to the agenda

On behalf of ABTTF, Ms. Kirmaci stated that under the Law 3518/2006, the
Greek government had decided to extend the compulsory period in
education from nine to ten years by making the one-year pre-school
education compulsory starting from the school year 2007-2008, and thus,
those pupils, who had completed the 5th year of their age, were obliged
to attend majority kindergartens. Kirmaci specified that since the
regarding Law did not bring any regulation on ethnic and cultural
differences of the children in Greece, the right not to be discriminated
was violated, because Greece without an objective and reasonable
justification failed to treat differently minority children who spoke a
different language other than Greek. Kirmaci underlined that in line
with the status of the minority and the legal framework in the field of
education, the children belonging to the Turkish Minority of Western
Thrace had the right to education in its native language, and therefore,
bilingual minority kindergartens had to be established in the areas
which were densely inhabited by the Turkish minority. In reply to the
contribution made by Kirmaci, Angelos Syrigos, Professor, Special
Secretary of the Ministry of National Education of Greece, put forward
that the allegation of violation of the right to education of the
Turkish children in their native language was not true as children at
public kindergartens do not have textbooks and do not follow any
curriculum.

Dragonas and Frangoudaki described “the Programme on Education of Muslim
Children (PEN)”

Thaleia Dragonas, Member of the Parliament, Coordinator of the Project
on Muslim Minority in Thrace – Greece, and Anna Frangoudaki, University
of Athens, Center of Intercultural Research and Pedagogic Intervention –
Greece, who were invited to the Forum as experts, made a joint
presentation on “the Programme on Education of Muslim Children (PEN)”.

Following the joint presentation of Frangoudaki ve Dragonas, on behalf
of the Western Thrace Minority University Graduates Association, Cemil
Kabza made his contribution, and stated that the Turkish minority was
granted with autonomy in the field of education. And Pervin Hayrullah,
Vice-Chairwoman of the Western Thrace Minority University Graduates
Association, expressed that the Turkish minority was considered by
Greece as a threat in ethnical means, and the history books in Greece
had still included biased information and approaches on Turkey and the
Turkish minority.

Written notice entitled “Greek Thrace: Modern and European Education
Model” was distributed

A written, anonymous notice entitled “Greek Thrace: Modern and European
Education Model” was distributed by Greece at the Forum, too. It is put
forward in the notice that the Greek education policy aims at that each
student of the Muslim minority is educated and improves his/her
personality freely, and enters the labour market as a modern Greek,
Muslim and European citizen on the basis of equality of opportunity. In
the same way, it is also argued that according to the first results of
the education policy, the disadvantaged group in Thrace has transformed
to notional advantages for winning the tomorrows.

http://www.abttf.org/html/?callback_id=490730&link=detay&id=1807&l=en

ABTTF 

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