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

Champion of Turkish schools in Australia dies at 43

Sezer Morkoç, an active volunteer for Turkish schools in Australia, died at his home at age 43 on Monday after a battle with liver cancer. Sezer Morkoç was known by his active volunteer activities in Australia. His ex-colleague Nail Kaleli recalls him by his volunteer character who would never refuse to help any educational initiatives. He involved in all the process opening of the Burc College in Australia, where more than 300,000 Turks live.

Turkish schools in Azerbaijan join SOCAR-financed int’l education complex

Turkish schools are among leading educational institutions that have joined an international educational complex financed by State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), a statement from the Azerbaijani oil giant said on Wednesday.

Call for Papers – International Gandhi Jayanti Conference 2015

Education is at the heart of the core problems of a society, potential solutions for making a healthy society and for peace building as well. Education is the key to eliminating gender inequality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet, to preventing needless deaths and illness, and to fostering peace.

Pineapple republic!

It would be wonderful if those who refer to the Gülen movement as a terrorist group, label its volunteers as “assassins” or call Gülen a “fake prophet” could see the heartfelt applause the work done by this group [Gülen movement] elicits.

Afghan Turkish Schools have brought 75 medals to Afghanistan

The students of Afghan Turkish schools have won 75 medals in international science olympiads this year. The students who won medals were rewarded at an award ceremony at Afghan Turkish School in Kabul. These students have brought to Afghanistan 12 gold, 24 silver and 39 bronze medals, 75 medals in total. Mr. Faruk Vardak, the […]

Mongolian teacher Galimbek’s message

Because we have been unable to become a regular and normal democracy, every generation and every social segment has once been defined as a domestic enemy in different periods. One of the things that the clandestine structures governing the old Turkey did best was to declare part of the people as an internal enemy and to launch effective propaganda to undermine their image in the eyes of the people.

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

Islamic scholar Gülen warns Hizmet movement against possible plots

Gülen condemns Reyhanlı attack as ‘villainy’

Liberal Turkish Journalists Champion Freedom of Expression, to a Degree

South Korean Superintendents of Education meet with Rainbow International Schools officials

Erdoğanist Turks Target Inter-Cultural Dialogue Activities Of Gülen Followers In Germany

[Part 3] Gülen says gov’t cut back on rights and freedoms in Turkey

Sweden delays sending back Erdogan dissenters

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News