ASIA/TURKEY - Syriac Christians will be able to build their own schools

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ankara (Agenzia Fides) - The Foundation of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Santa Maria has received from the Turkish courts the permission to build their own schools for children and young people in their community, ensuring them to be educated in the language used in the family. According to the reconstruction provided by Turkish sources consulted by Fides, just a year ago the request made by the Foundation was rejected by the Ministry of Education, based on the fact that the Syriac community is not in the list of minorities traditionally recognized in the Country. An appeal filed to the Turkish court overturned the negative ministerial ruling, recognizing that the Syriac Christians must be able to benefit from the same rights enjoyed by other religious minorities in the field of education on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne.
In recent times, signs of attention of the leadership of Turkish policy towards the Syriac Christian minority seem to multiply. The same Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Syriac Turkish emigrants to return to Turkey. While President Abdullah Gul met with the leaders of the Syriac Christian community in Turkey in February. (GV) Agenzia Fides 07/08/2013).