The legacy of a professor closing down schools


Date posted: April 9, 2014

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME
Closing down schools and being a professor seem mutually exclusive, but thanks to the extraordinary conditions in Turkey we have seen them coexist.

We have started the week by hearing about the attempt of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to close down the Turkish schools around the world which have been opened by entrepreneurs inspired by the Hizmet movement. This shocking report came as bitter evidence of how Davutoğlu, who takes pride in being an academic by profession at every opportunity, has quickly adopted politics, which he entered comparatively late. In other words, Davutoğlu seems to be doing his best to deserve his spot in the post-election “balcony photo” in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan included him.

One cannot help but wonder about the underlying reason of the “eclipse of reason” that is massive enough to lead to lobbying against Turkish schools which have become a source of pride for Turkey globally. The attempt to close down these schools is an indicator of hatred/resentment among some against the Hizmet movement, which laid the foundation for these institutions.

The extremely polarizing rhetoric of Erdoğan, which was full of baseless accusations and slander that aimed to create a fictional enemy, has somewhat resonated in the public opinion. Apparently, those who believe that they could win by taking sides with Erdoğan and his oligarchic clique must have thought that “Hizmet bashing” is a good political investment. Otherwise what could be the benefit of obstructing the Turkish schools in approximately 160 countries, which have become an important element of Turkey’s soft power? The perpetrators of such an attempt are destined to lose in the long run. They will be labeled as people who shut down schools of their fellow citizens abroad and as people who ran amok with political greed at home.

Davutoğlu, who talks about complaint letters about Turkey sent from groups in host countries to their governments as a pretext to shut down these schools, not only fails to prove the existence of such letters, but also say that they are not addressed at the schools. Such a claim terribly resembles the claims that “they attacked my headscarved sister in Kabataş,” “Bank Asya bought dollars on Dec. 17” and “the prime minister was blackmailed over prep schools,” which turned out to be baseless. Even if there were such letters from civil society organizations, why punish the schools?

The Turkish schools, which have proven their quality even in a competitive system like the US, serve as honorary Turkish embassies, especially in Africa. Having gone to many African countries even before Turkish diplomats, these schools have established bridges and a bond of trust. Without the mobilization of these schools by Turkish business communities, the Africa opening that Turkish diplomacy is so proud of could have never been achieved. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is shooting itself in the foot.

Fortunately, African leaders are not suffering from a total eclipse of mind/reason like ours! The Kenyan president, who paid a visit to Ankara on Tuesday, praised the schools as the president of South Africa went further and called Turkish entrepreneurs in his country his brothers as he welcomed them.

Foreigners did what Turkish schools succeed at today a hundred years ago. Think of Robert College, established by Americans in İstanbul in 1863! Can you imagine alumni of Robert College as not sympathetic to the United States, unless there were a serious reason? Similarly, the alumni of Turkish schools will turn into friends of Turkey by default.

It is impossible to explain the lobbying against Turkish schools by means of conscience. Apparently this is what happens when greed and hatred go beyond reason.

Still there is no reason to be hopeless. Governments come and go, but social phenomena remain. Turkish schools will not be shut down due to the campaign of those who can only afford to bribe a certain country in Africa. The losers will be those who undertake such an attempt.

Source: Todays Zaman , April 9, 2014


Related News

Nigeria won’t allow mistreatment of her students by Turkey – Presidency

According to Dabiri-Erewa: “The Federal Government is taking the detention of Nigerian students by Turkish authorities seriously. It seems that Turkey is trying to get at Nigeria for our failure to close down the 17 schools they requested. The government did not close down these schools because their owners and managers, who are private people have not breached Nigerian laws.”

Turkish-American school takes top prizes in Connecticut science fair

Putnam Science Academy (PSA), a Turkish school in the US, has taken first place and second place spots in two major categories at the annual Connecticut State Science Fair finals.

Turkish Deputy PM rules out ‘ill will’ against Gülen community, unveils prep school draft details

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has announced September 2015 as the deadline for the “transformation” of private examination prep schools (dershanes) into private schools, while denying that the move represents hostility toward the “Hizmet” (Service) movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. Speaking after a 7.5-hour-long Cabinet meeting on Dec. 2, Arınç also announced January 2014 […]

Turkish School’s sucesss in Iraq

(Ebru News/AP) Turkish schools in Iraq have become a source of pride in Turkiye. All the students attending Nilufer Girls College in Arbil province were placed with high scores in important faculties of the university. Iraqi officials who attended the diploma ceremony said that these students improved themselves quickly and drew attention with their success […]

Erdoğan’s Baku visit will not close Hizmet schools

Heydar Aliyev, an experienced and far-sighted politician, always supported these schools and we cannot say that the decisions to open the doors of the country to these schools was of no benefit. The schools have for years maintained the trust of the government because they are integrated with Azerbaijani society and its values. To think that the schools opened with blessings of Heydar Aliyev will be shut down by his son İlham Aliyev would be naïve.

Uganda president praises Turkish schools’ success, calls for deeper cooperation

Attending opening ceremony of the sixth Turkish school founded by a group of volunteers to cement ties between two countries, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni expressed his joy over the attempt of Turkey’s elite entrepreneurs who played key roles in establishment of a wide network of schools across the African continent in order to boost inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

S.A. nun speaks at the U.N. on Gulen

Gülen condemns Paris shootings, says all forms of terror deplorable

When the masks have fallen

‘Turkish people not silly to believe slanderous news about Gülen’

Local Turks [in Chicago] fear for safety of friends, family overseas after failed coup

Turkish evidence for Gulen extradition pre-dates coup attempt

Fethullah Gülen’s Eid message: Let’s pray for each other

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News