Germany: Turkey can have Turkish schools in Germany

Germany: Turkey can have Turkish schools in Germany

Before her visit to Turkey, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the idea of Turkish-language schools in Germany:

"I do not think this brings us forward, as I think that Turkish children and pupils should go to German schools. I do not think much of the idea of Turkish children going to Turkish school," she told the Passauer Neue Presse regional newspaper.

But after visiting German-language schools in Turkey, she doesn't dismiss the idea:

Chancellor Angela Merkel's pledge to support the establishment of Turkish-language universities is being hailed in Turkey as a hard-won concession, but it may not exactly be the news that Germany's nearly 3 million Turks are looking forward to hearing.

Merkel, who earlier rejected a call from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to open Turkish-language high schools -- reciprocating the existence of several German-speaking schools and a planned Turkish-German university in Turkey -- told a joint press conference in Ankara that “Turkey also can have schools in Germany,” since Germany has schools in Turkey. She warned, however, that this must not be an excuse for not learning German.

Erdoğan’s proposal annoyed German authorities, who claimed it would be detrimental to efforts to integrate millions of immigrants of Turkish origin into German society.

But despite the diplomatic ruckus it has created, the debate on Turkish-language high schools is largely unknown to Germany’s Turkish immigrant community, a large portion of which find it hard to receive a decent education and find jobs because of their low German skills.

Critics also said the debate is irrelevant, since there are no legal obstacles in Germany for the establishment of private foreign schools. Merkel’s pledges in Ankara are also likely to have a minimal effect in Germany, where education policies are mainly administered by federal states, not the central government.


Sources: Expactica, Today's Zaman (English)

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