In 1924, Kemal Atat邦rk closed the religious-affiliated
schools in an effort to give the education system a
secularized, Western orientation. Literacy campaigns in
connection with the introduction of the Latin alphabet were
of great benefit to the school system. At the same time,
there is still extensive illiteracy especially in rural
areas, not least in the country's eastern parts and
especially among women (20% over 15 years, for men 4% are
reported). The high nativity has long negatively affected
the quality of the school with large classes and teaching in
double shifts. The teachers have also been heavily
controlled by the state with little opportunities for
educational initiatives. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Turkey.
In recent years, the Turkish education system has
undergone both organizational and substantive reform.
Nowadays, the primary school consists of an 8-year free and
compulsory compulsory school. In addition to the state
schools, there are also chartered private schools, which are
largely used by the country's economic and political elite.
Private schools often have expanded teaching in foreign
languages and sports. In Istanbul there are special schools
for Greeks, Armenians and Jews, while the large Kurdish
minority in the country, despite recent years' commitments,
have not met their linguistic needs in the school system.
After elementary school, students can apply to four-year
secondary schools or colleges that prepare for universities
or serve as vocational schools. There are a large number of
secondary schools, partly state colleges, and various kinds
of vocational schools, religious so-called imam-hatip
schools and of course private colleges, for example Robert
College in Istanbul. In 2007, there were almost 8,000
secondary schools in Turkey. In 2006, the number of
universities was 118. Many Turkish students study abroad,
and Turkish universities also participate in the Erasmus
exchange within the Socrates program.
The Turkish invasion, aircraft and artillery attacks were
met by fierce protests from both the Iraqi Kurdistan
regional government and the Iraqi central government, but
Iraq refrained from defending its sovereignty militarily.
Massoud Barzani changed his stance, declaring that Iraqi
Kurdistan would first provide military resistance "if
Turkish forces directly attacked the civilian population or
reached more inhabited areas". The EU understood the Turkish
invasion, but called for restraint. So much for the EU's
respect for national sovereignty of states. The United
States was in a particularly difficult situation, expressed
concern that the invasion could "destabilize the entire
region", yet expressed understanding of Turkey's position
and urged the country to withdraw quickly. However, the
Turkish invasion did not weaken the PKK. In August 2008, it
sabotaged the oil pipeline passing from Baku through Tblisi
to Ceyhan, and in October and December several dozens of
Turkish soldiers were killed. New attacks took place in May
and October 2009. From March 2010, the PKK stepped up its
actions against the Turkish military, responding again with
attacks into Iraqi Kurdistan.
In March 2008, the Turkish Supreme Court launched
preliminary investigations into whether a ban on the ruling
party AKP should be issued. The AKP's predecessor was also
banned. Likewise, the Turkish state has a tradition of
banning the Kurdish political parties. The AKP and its
predecessor because they are Islamic oriented. The Kurds,
because they are Kurdish.
In a court in Diyarbakir, in April 2008, 53 Kurdish
mayors were sentenced to 75 days' imprisonment two years
earlier for having written to Danish Prime Minister
Rasmussen with a request not to shut down the
Kurdish TV station, Roj-TV, which broadcast from Copenhagen.
The station was considered by the Turkish state to support
the independence movement PKK.
Turkey was hit hard by the global economic crisis in
2008. While GDP growth in 2002-07 averaged 7.4% annually, in
2008 it fell to 4.5% and in 2009 the economy shrank 5.1%.
In January 2009, Prime Minister Erdogan attended the
World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Here he strongly
criticized Israel for its war crimes in Gaza a few weeks
earlier. Israeli President Shimon Peres also attended the
meeting and provided unusually long talks to explain the
Israeli war crimes that cost more than 1,250 Palestinians.
When Erdogan could not get extra talk time to comment on
Peres' allegations, he emigrated from the meeting in protest
and never declared wanting to attend a WEF meeting again.
The municipal elections in March were won by Erdogan's
AKP, which got 39% of the vote. However, it was a decline
from the 2007 parliamentary elections that gave the party
46.7%. The largest opposition party became the Social
Democratic Kemalist CHP, which rose 3% to 23.3%.
In spring 2009, Turkey blocked the appointment of Danish
Fogh Rasmussen as NATO Secretary General. The main reasons
for the Turkish veto were Denmark's racist nature, the
country's campaign against Islam (including the so-called
Muhammad cartoons) and Denmark's permission for the Kurdish
TV station Roj, which broadcasts from Copenhagen. The United
States put severe diplomatic pressure on Turkey, and the
country ended up abandoning its veto against Denmark getting
started to shut down Roj. This work was started in Denmark
in May 2009.
In July, the building of the Illisu dam across the Tigris
River in eastern Turkey was suspended. The reason was that
banks in 3 Western European countries withdrew their export
credits. The reason was partly the financial crisis and
partly a reference to the consequences of the dam
construction. That would result in the forced displacement
of 55,000 Kurds.
While the debate on the Turkish genocide of Armenians
during World War I continued around the world, in August
2009 Turkey and Armenia signed an agreement in Zurich to
improve relations between the two countries.
In 2009, Prime Minister Erdogan announced a plan to end
the conflict with the Kurdish frontier. This was not a
dialogue with the PKK or other Kurdish organizations, but
only about permission to use the Kurdish language in the
future in the electronic media and political campaigns, and
that the Kurdish cities would get their Kurdish names back.
However, Kurdish is still prohibited as a public language
and in the teaching of children. In December, the
Constitutional Court banned the Kurdish party DSP, which was