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The police locked the building of the Ali Erel Primary School after the provincial branch of the Education Ministry in Diyarbakır decided to shut the Kurdish school down.
The school, which was opened in Kayapınar in October of last year, was providing education to 60 students. Diyarbakır Co-Mayor Gültan Kışanak and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies İmam Taşçıer and Nursel Aydoğan had attended its inauguration ceremony held on Oct. 5.
During her speech at the ceremony, Kışanak had said education in one’s mother tongue is a fundamental right.
The provincial educational branch said it decided to close down the school because it did not have a license, adding that the Diyarbakır Governor’s Office had already warned the school that it would be forced to close by November 2015 for operating without a license.
The school administration told the media the closure was unlawful and that they would file an appeal against the decision.
Three private primary schools offering education in Kurdish were opened in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Şırnak and Hakkari on Sept. 15, 2014 with the start of the new 2014-2015 academic year.
A democratization package introduced by the government in September 2013 made it possible for students to receive education in their mother tongue. Schools can provide education in languages other than the official language of Turkish. The package paved the way for Kurds, who have long demanded the government offer full education in their mother tongue, to establish private schools providing education in Kurdish.