Dec 20 2017

Turkey to give religious classes to Syrian refugee children - reports

Turkish Ministry of Education has signed an agreement with an organisation to teach the Quran and the Turkish language to Syrian refugee children, secularist newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

The ministry has contracted an organisation called the Damascus Orphans Association for the education of children in the southern province of Hatay, the newspaper said.

But on the documents obtained by Cumhuriyet from the ministry, the name of the organisation was written in three different ways, the article said, while the organisation does not have a website, only a Facebook page.

The newspaper also shared Facebook posts by the organisation that contained many Turkish grammar and spelling errors.

According to the agreement, the organisation will pick its own teachers and venues for the classes, Cumhuriyet said.

The daily said previous agreements between the ministry and Islamist foundations had caused public outcry.

A deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Mehmet Gökdağ, was quoted by Cumhuriyet as saying that only 40 percent of Syrian children had access to education in Turkey, and that those who had are educated by unknown, questionable organisations.

Gökdağ said he would bring the issue before parliament.