Though yet to be officially announced, the prep school issue, which has been a serious educational issue in Turkey, has now reached a deadlock with the decision made by the AYM. The decision made at the AYM will only sweep the problems experienced in the educational system under the carpe.
The Constitutional Court (AYM) of Turkey has agreed to call off the government’s decision to shut down prep schools, a popular recruiting ground for the controversial Gülen Movement. Though the decision that was agreed upon by the large majority is yet to be announced in the official gazette, an academic at Çankaya University, Cem Duran Uzun, who is an expert in constitutional law, spoke to Daily Sabah and underlined that it is difficult to analyze the issued decision as there is no justified decision yet. Discussing the educational aspect of the decision, İpek Çoşkun, an expert in educational studies and an academic at the SETA Foundation, said that the prep schools issue, which is a serious problem in Turkey’s educational system, is now at a deadlock.
The Republican People’s Party (CHP) had initially applied to the Constitutional Court for the abolition of the regulations to shut down prep schools, and after hearing National Education Ministry officials and prep school operators on Sunday, the AYM had announced its final verdict on Monday, not giving the green light to prep schools’ closure. As the details and justified decision is yet to be announced in the official gazette, Turkey’s Minister of Education Nabi Avcı also said Tuesday that commenting on the decision without seeing the justification would be speculation. Avcı continued his statements by adding that the Ministry of Education does not have any new legislation that it is working on, but stressed that the ministry is taking all necessary steps not to victimize the students. Avcı further stated that the ministry will continue to provide refresher courses to students.
Minister Avcı stressed that regardless of the decision, the students and parents are the priority. In this regard, İpek Çoşkun in her statements to Daily Sabah said the outcome of the decision would greatly affect the students and parents. “Though yet to be officially announced, the prep school issue, which has been a serious educational issue in Turkey, has now reached a deadlock with the decision made by the AYM. The decision made at the AYM will only sweep the problems experienced in the educational system under the carpet for the short term, but in the long term, it will cause a strengthening of the two-headed structure,” added Çoşkun. Underlining that the decision was made late, Çoşkun said it will further complete the process from now on. While the Constitutional Court’s decision is viewed as political rather than judicial for many, Çoşkun said the court’s decision was a contradiction, as the appeal by the CHP, which requested to dismiss the law containing abolishment of prep schools, was rejected in 2014.
Constitutional expert Uzun underlined that the process followed after the official announcement of the decision would have to be defined by the ministry, as it would be highly difficult to sustain it through judicial means. Since almost 400 prep schools have been shut down and 600 have been transformed into basic secondary schools throughout this process, Uzun indicated that the ministry would need to decide the fate of those prep schools that have been shut down or transformed.
The court’s decision has also annulled the adjustment of the ministry which allowed those teachers who had competed six years of teaching to be included in ministry’s staff without the need of the Public Personnel Selection Exam (KPSS). In this regard, more than 3,000 teachers along with those who had resigned from the prep schools would be victimized with the recent decision taken by the court.
In regards to further steps to be taken following the Constitutional Court’s decision, Çoşkun said the ministry must continue its refresher courses and further strengthen them in efforts to prevent a parallel structure reoccurring.
Resource: Daily Sabah, July 14, 2015