In the meantime, BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş struck a similar tone to the prime minister regarding the prep schools’ closure, saying that prep courses must be shut down. Demirtaş said the closure is a political as well as commercial issue, casting doubts on the government’s desire but expressing his approval at shutting down prep schools.
It turned out that I was overly optimistic, for I did not want to believe that a prime minister who bravely fought the old, authoritarian establishment in the people’s name for years could have changed so much, adopting just the same behavior we were subjected to in the past. I had thought that those bitter experiences were only a distant memory. Unfortunately, I was wrong — terribly so.
The Prime Minister Erdoğanis talking about closing the prep schools in which students enroll to get additional education and be more successful on university entrance examinations.His whole argument to close these institutions is just a blur of some basic facts. Everyone knows that Erdoğan is taking these steps for a single purpose: He wants to punish the Gülen movement.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will not back down from its decision to close prep schools, despite ongoing discussion on the matter and deepening polarization over the government’s move. Only 21 percent of people polled support the government’s move, according to a survey conducted by Mak Danışmanlık (Mak Consultancy).
A feud between Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and an influential Islamic cleric has spilled into the open months ahead of elections, highlighting fractures in the religiously conservative support base underpinning his decade in power. The reclusive cleric drew parallels with the behavior of the secularist military in the build up to past coups.
Working parents are extremely concerned with a planned move from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to shut down study centers, where children can spend time after school doing their homework with the assistance of educational professionals, as part of a law that will see private prep schools that help students in preparing for high-school and university tests close.
Recent statements by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan aired by the ATV TV station upset, surprised and hurt me. I felt fooled and surprised, because despite the decision made by the Cabinet two days ago, the prime minister made a clear statement: “There is no way back. The draft will be reviewed.” Everybody is taking a test now; only our Islamic attitude, stance, love, tolerance, humility and style will save us.
“It’s not possible to make out of this behavior befitting a government that defends a market economy,” Seyfettin Gürsel, director of Bahçeşehir University’s Center for Economic and Social Research, told Today’s Zaman. Opponents of the government’s plan have also noted that the prep schools are a consequence of the many inadequacies of Turkey’s education system, and said that prep schools help low-income students enter university.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) referred Kütahya deputy İdris Bal — who opposed the government’s planned closure of prep schools (dershanes) — to the party’s disciplinary board for expulsion on Thursday. Bal, reiterating his opposition to the closure of prep schools, he said that such a move would violate the Constitution.
Turkish Deputy PM Bülent Arınç has described the offer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen to hand over prep school management to the state an example of “sacrifice” and promised that the issue of prep schools will be resolved in a way that pleases everyone. “God knows that we don’t have an ambition to manage [these prep schools]; our desire is that these services don’t become the causalities of a disagreement,” Gülen reportedly said.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said that he will not visit Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen during his trip to the United States, amid tension between the Gülen movement and the government over the possible closure of private “dershane” examination prep schools. After a Cabinet meeting on Nov. 18, Arınç had said the government would reevaluate its work on the controversial closure of the prep schools “together with the related parties.”
The Taraf daily reported on the written instructions sent in an email to social media coordinators at government ministries by the AK Party’s media coordinator, Burak Gültekin. The email read as follows: “Dear ministry social media coordinator, Attached please see a note on prep schools…” The attachment included templates for tweets some of which include content teasing the Hizmet movement and the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
The debate over the Turkish government’s move to shut down private prep schools is growing with a battle of words between the administration and private education representatives. Self-exiled Islamic scholar Gülen, on the other hand, asked his followers “to be resolute and not yield to despair,” in a speech posted on herkul.org, a website that broadcasts his speeches.
The government’s intentions to shut down private examination preparation centers [in Turkey] in spite of a strong backlash from educators, economists, students, parents and even terrorism experts brings back memories of the authoritarianism of the early years of the republic, when a single-party regime was in place.