[MGSA-L] Uproar as Turkey bans students from Cyprus

June Samaras june.samaras at gmail.com
Sat Jun 11 18:41:14 PDT 2011

Uproar as Turkey bans students from Cyprus
By Simon Bahceli
Published on June 10, 2011


A TURKISH decree banning Turkish Cypriot students who study at schools
in the government controlled areas from applying to universities there
was yesterday slammed by local educationalists.
“Students who study in the south will definitely not benefit from this
new ruling,” the north’s ‘education minister’ Kemal Durust said,
adding: “It was already one of our aims to discourage students from
going to schools in the south”.
However, head of the Turkish Cypriot teachers union (KTOS) Sener Elcil
slammed the ruling as “racist and discriminatory”.
The decree by the Turkish Higher Education Authority (YOK) in Ankara
was issued on May 25, but was only announced by the north’s ‘education
ministry’ earlier this week. According to the ruling, if the student
is a ‘citizen’ of the ‘TRNC’ but has passed his or her exams in the
government-controlled areas of Cyprus, their application will not be
On a more positive note, students who have passed British GCEs and A
levels will, for the first time, be formally accepted by 79 state-run
universities across Turkey. Previously, students were required to have
taken the centralised Turkish university entrance exams.
“By making it a condition that students study in the north, they are
discriminating against students who choose to study in the south,”
Elcil said, adding that the ruling was part of Turkey’s “colonialist”
approach to the north.
“Turkey is setting up its schools here and taking over ours; the
intention is clear”.
Former head of educational planning in the north Hasan Alicik also
attacked the ruling by saying, “Are children who study in the south
not our citizens? How can we discriminate against our own people in
such a way?”
Alicik added that many valuable members of the Turkish Cypriot
community were graduates of the English School in Nicosia and other
educational establishments in the south. He asked under what rationale
Turkish universities could accept a Greek Cypriot with A levels from a
school south of the Green Line, but not a Turkish Cypriot one.
“This ruling is purely political,” he concluded.
Parent of a former Turkish Cypriot student at the English School in
south Nicosia Hilmi Cavli told the Cyprus Mail he found the ruling
“If they are going to strip people of their rights in this way, they
should relieve them of their responsibilities such as national
service,” he said. “This is unfair and a double standard”.
Cavli added that the reason he sent his son, who now studies at Oxford
University, to the English School was that he was a former student of
the school and because he believed it offered a high quality of
“It was expensive and problematic to send our son to school in the
south, but there simply isn’t a school of that caliber in the north,”
he said, adding: “If they want to stop children going to schools in
the south they would do better to open high quality schools in the
north, rather than trying to do it with discriminatory laws”.
June Samaras
2020 Old Station Rd
Canada L5M 2V1
Tel : 905-542-1877
E-mail : june.samaras at gmail.com

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