Reports on Proposed New Kyrenia School Conflicted

A school for children from poor families and not a religious vocational school will be built in the Kyrenia area, the EVKAF has stated.

Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’ newspaper writes that Ibrahim Benter, general director of the EVKAF religious foundation, has denied a report published in Havadis, that a religious vocational school [known as Imam Hatip in Turkish] will be built in the Kyrenia district on 70 donums of land leased by EVKAF to Turkey’s Education Foundation.

In a statement issued yesterday, Benter argued that it is out of the question for a religious school to be built in Kyrenia or elsewhere in the TRNC and added that their target is to build a school of “international standards”, in which children from families in a dire economic situation will be offered “quality education”. He said that this school will be built in cooperation with Turkey’s Education Foundation and the TRNC Ministry of Education and will include all levels of education, from kindergarten until lyceum.

Noting that the decision to lease the above-mentioned land for 10 years has been made by EVKAF’s administrative council, Benter argued that with its TRNC International Education School Project, Turkey’s Education Foundation aims at building an international education complex and offering the opportunity to students of all ages to be educated. He said that after a certain level, teaching would be in English and that other languages could also be taught. The complex will also include other facilities such as a tennis court, a kitchen, a sports arena, a theatre etc.

In statements on the issue, Serdar Denktas, finance minister and acting minister of education, told the paper that the council of ministers had no plans for the land leased to the EVKAF and that they have never discussed the issue.

Moreover, former minister of education, Ozdemir Berova said that during his term of office they had discussed this topic but no decision was made. He also noted that no application had been submitted and no processes had begun.

Commenting on the issue, Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union (KTOS), said that an initiative has been launched for the construction of religious vocational schools in Kyrenia and Famagusta areas and described the construction of such a school in Kyrenia as a “provocation”, since Kyrenia faces the problem of an inadequate number of schools.


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