MAZLUM-DER: Unification of Education Law should be abolished

December 09, 2013, Monday/ 18:11:00/ NECİP SALACAN

The Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) has launched a campaign to abolish the Unification of Education Law (Tevhîd-i Tedrîsât Kânûnu) and ensure better education standards for Turkey.

One of the first reforms of the revolutionary republican era was the enactment of the Unification of Education Law in 1924. This law unified all educational institutions under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education, enabling the Turkish state to control all aspects of education. The Ministry of Education plans to close prep schools (dershanes) on the grounds that they are inconsistent with this law on education that was passed during the Turkish revolution.

During an interview with Today's Zaman, officials from MAZLUM-DER expressed the necessity to abolish the law, saying that neither students nor parents are able to play a decisive role in the education system. Beytullah Önce said the Turkish education system is bureaucratically controlled from one center and shaped by political and economic concerns. “The abolishment of the Unification of the Education Law will be a start to the removal of the oppressive, repressive and denialist mindset of the government,” Önce said.

The suggestion to remove the law first came from former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Altan Tan. Önce said MAZLUM-DER will continue its campaign until the government abolishes the law and frees the education system. Arife Gökkaya Dinç, a legal advisor for MAZLUM-DER, told Today's Zaman that the law does not meet the demands of students in the modern age but prepares one type of student whose mindset is determined by the government.

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