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    Niyazi Kızılyürek Condemns Ataturk page removal

    Niyazi Kızılyürek, a member of the European Parliament, strongly condemned “the Greek Cypriot education ministry’s cutting and discarding of a page referring to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from a book”.

    Pointing out that book burnings and page-snatching are practices seen in authoritarian regimes.

    Kızılyürek said it is essential to reform the history education in the highly troubled country as soon as possible in line with the directives of the Council of Europe.

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    He added: “History education should not be a tool in the hands of nationalist elites who want to produce prejudice and hatred in the name of the ‘national consciousness’.

    No one has the right to deprive students of critical thinking and the pluralist and multi-prism approach envisaged by the Council of Europe.

    I urge all authorities to make changes to the education system as soon as possible.

    It is the most natural right of the new generations for Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot students to be raised free from racism, xenophobia, prejudices and to be educated with an approach that will strengthen their capacity for empathy.”

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    Pointing out that the authorities of the Republic of Turkey recently also wanted changes to strengthen the “national consciousness” of Turkish Cypriot students, Kizilyurek argued that this was an unacceptable intervention.

    Kızılyürek stated that as the co-ordinator of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament on education and culture, he had commissioned a study on history education in Turkish and Greek Cypriot schools and that this work would be presented to the public in Turkish, Greek and English.

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