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2013-09-24

ASIA/TURKEY – There are 22 religious minority schools. At the time of the Ottoman Empire there were more than 6 thousand

Ankara (Agenzia Fides) - The schools belonging to minority communities in the Turkish territory are now only 22, while in the last years of the Ottoman Empire there were more than six thousand. The striking numerical difference is documented in a recent report published by the Foundation for the Economic Social History of Turkey (Tarih Vakfi) on the problems experienced in the past and in the present educational institutions of ethnic and religious minorities rooted in Turkey. According to data collected in the dossier sent Fides Agency, schools belonging to minority communities in Turkey were 6437 in 1894. Their number dropped dramatically to 138 in the first years following the founding of the Turkish Republic, when the nationalist politics of the Union and Progress Committee, aimed at building and imposing the unique pattern of "Turkish citizen", began to inspire the policy of expulsion of minority groups. The nationalistic mentality also saw minority schools as hindering factors in this process of standardization.
Currently there are only 22 minority schools in Turkey. Of these, 16 belong to the Armenian community, 5 to the Greek community and one to the Jewish community. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 24/09/2013)

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