Turkey’s Syriacs demand gov’t support for schools

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Sevil Erku? Sevil Erku?sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr
The head of the Turkey Syriac Associations Federation, Evgil Türker, has told Hürriyet Daily News that efforts are being taken to open a Syriac elementary school, the first ever in the history of the republic.

However, having difficulty to undertake the financial burden of opening school in Mardin’s Midyat district, the community will appeal to the Ministry of Education for support.

The Syriacs are also lacking certificated Syriac speaking teaching staff and will also ask the ministry to allow Syriac teachers from Syria, Iraq and Europe to provide training in Turkey, Türker added.

The Turkey Syriac Associations Federation sent an application to Mardin’s Provincial Directorate for National Education last year to open the school. The last Syriac school in Turkey was closed down in 1928.

Stressing that they do not have the financial capabilities to open the elementary school, the federation was planning to meet with officials from the Ministry of Education for state support, Türker said.

So far, the federation has exchanged letters with the ministry to learn the procedures, but they have yet make progress since the ministry was waiting for the Syriacs’ preparations.

Meanwhile, the Syriac community in Istanbul is almost ready to open a kindergarten for the 2014-2015 school year, and has submitted a syllabus to the ministry, Sait Susin, the President of the Meryem Ana Church Foundation told the Daily News.

“We are now working to establish a training staff,” Susin added.

The kindergarten will be opened in Ye?ilköy and will have three classes with capacity of 80-90 students.