Turkish-language schools on the rise across Iraq

By Ali Mukarrem Garip

KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) – The popularity of Turkish-language schools is rising across Iraq, the head of a Turkmen cultural and educational group told Anadolu Agency on Monday.

Head of the Turkmen Education Center, Kahtan Vindavi said interest in the schools was particularly widespread in Iraq’s northern Kirkuk province.

The Turkmen Education Center is a sub-group of the Turkmeneli Cooperation and Culture Foundation, an advocacy and cultural organization operating in Turkmen-majority areas of Iraq.

According to Vindavi, Turkish-language schools have received nearly 300 transfers from Arabic and Kurdish institutions with the new academic year.

“We are pleased that, besides Turkmens, Arab and Kurdish families are also registering their children to Turkish education schools,” he said.

Adding that the schools owed much of this newfound popularity to the achievements of their alumni, Vindavi said total transfers were targeted to reach 1,000.

“We are endeavoring to keep the education of our schools high. Besides Kirkuk, we are providing all manner of support to our schools in Baghdad, Mosul, Tal Afar, Erbil and Diyala.”

Turkish-language education has been available in many schools under the Iraqi Education Ministry throughout high Turkmen-populated areas since the 2003 downfall of Saddam Hussein.