Keyword: Turkey

Gülen appeals for steadfastness against gov’t ban on prep schools [in Turkey]

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has asked his followers to be resolute and not yield to despair in the face of a government attempt to shut down private educational institutions [in Turkey] that assist students to prepare for high school and university admission examinations, which was interpreted as a major blow to the right to an education and to free enterprise in the EU-candidate country.

Erdoğan’s way: scare, divide and rule

The last straw [man] by Erdoğan came this week when a draft version of a law seeking the closure of all kinds of privately established prep schools (dershanes) leaked to the media. The bill is so drastic that even private tutoring for kids at homes by parents is banned. The intrusive move is seen as a huge blow to free enterprise and the right to education, prompting concerns that the closure of these schools will block upward mobility in Turkish society.

Behind the war over prep schools [in Turkey]

Notably, all this comes while the tension between the government, especially Erdoğan himself, and the Gülen Movement is deepening. In fact, both groups form part of the “religious conservatives,” and used to be allies against the old secularist guard. However, their differences have become increasingly pronounced and have resulted recently in an increasingly bitter war of words.

Gülen says he would free all coup convicts if he had the means

In a statement published on herkul.org, a website that broadcasts his speeches, Gülen said he was deeply saddened to see “those elderly men” standing trial in these cases, adding that he would favor their release if he was able to. “If I had the means at my disposal, I would tell them, ‘You are all free.’ How? Just like the Prophet said to all on the day of the Conquest of Mecca: ‘Go! You are all free today’.”

Fate of preparatory courses

Zaman’s Hüseyin Gülerce denied allegations that there is tension between the government and Hizmet movement due to government’s steps to bring an end to these preparatory courses, saying that Hizmet does not own all preparatory course schools in the country. What bothers members of Hizmet is that the government has not given a clear or reasonable explanation as to why they are taking these steps, Gülerce said.

Political life and NGOs in Turkey: Journalists and Writers Foundation

One of the most prominent NGOs in Turkey is the Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV). This NGO recently published a statement in newspapers to announce that it does not have an agenda in terms of establishing a political party or appointing others to form a party on its behalf.

Gülen urges patience over prep schools row

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen expressed unhappiness over government [in Turkey] plans to abolish educational institutions that assist high school students to prepare for the national university admission examination and urged people to be patient in the face of this move, which is interpreted as a blow to education in the country.

International Summit: Women’s perspectives on UN post-2015 development agenda

The Journalists and Writers Foundation is organizing a two-day international summit entitled “Women’s Perspectives on UN Post-2015 Development Agenda” in Istanbul, which will be held by on May 31-June 1, 2014. As the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches this summit specifically aims to highlight women’s perspectives, experiences and opinions on the UN development goals.

Turkish schools and businessmen mobilized for Izmir’s EXPO candidacy

The Turkish schools around the globe have been making great effort for Izmir’s EXPO 2020 win. The schools and businessmen have taken action so that Bureau of International Expositions committee opts for Turkey in the voting to take place in Paris on November 27th. “What is lost with Olympics can be made up for in EXPO,” Fethullah Gulen had earlier said.

Hizmet movement rejects claim of forming political party

Hizmet says it is both practically and theoretically impossible to form a political party or to support a specific party, as it has volunteers from many different political ideologies. “This movement, which has no other goals than to serve humanity, would only advise its volunteers to form their political stances according to certain principles, like human rights, democracy, transparency, justice, pluralism, rule of law and freedom of expression and belief,” the statement said.

Alevi demands remain unfulfilled as their disappointment grows

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, İSTANBUL The democratization package unveiled by the governing AK Party (Justice and Development Party) on Sept. 30 further disappointed already discouraged Alevis who have been expecting the state to officially recognize their houses of worship in accordance with other steps taken to equate all faiths in the country and this frustration led a […]

International panel on Virgin Mary held in Istanbul

The international panel entitled “The Virgin Mary in the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur’an” jointly organized by Journalists and Writers Foundation’s Intercultural Dialogue Platform (KADIP), Roma Tevere Instituto and Izmir Intercultural Dialogue Center took place in Istanbul. In the final declaration of the panel, it was noted that the Virgin Mary who broke many discriminative taboos of her time played a significant role throughout history in placing women in the status they deserve.

Skies shudder at an orphan’s tear

Famine, civil war and conflicts in Africa have left thousands of orphans behind. Yagmur Magazine and Kimse Yok Mu Foundation have jointly launched a projects aimed to lift up those orphans. The profit made out of the poetry album Goklerin Titreyişi (meaning shudders of the skies) will be donated to the African children in need. […]

An American’s journey into a Hizmet school in Turkey

One thing I haven’t mentioned is the fact that the school engages with the families of all its students, and that fact was evident in the way the students engaged with their teachers and each other. I have never seen a bunch of adolescent girls with such nice manners, warm self-confidence and eagerness to learn and succeed.

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