İYİ Party leader Meral Aksener criticizes removal of student oath

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Opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener on March 17 has slammed both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over the removal of the student oath from being recited at primary schools after a court decision.

“Those who do not want to see that saying ‘Turkish’ is not a separation but a desire for unity, those who dragged the last independent Turkish state into the abyss, of course, are astonished in the last sentence of our oath,” she said while addressing her party group members in parliament.

İYİ Party leader Meral Aksener criticizes removal of student oath 2

“Our oath is in the memory of our heroic ancestors, in the legacy of our Atatürk,” she said, referring to the founder of modern Turkey.

“The struggle of the Education Ministry with our oath, which emphasizes our national identity and nurtures the national consciousness, through the judiciary is as ironic as it is painful,” she added.

Akşener criticized the ruling AKP and its ally, the MHP, for not being “nationalist” enough and accused the MHP of being silent in the past three years, when the oath was not recited.

The politician also criticized the government’s recent economic reform package and said they stepped up for the reform package “just to protect their ruling.” She said citizens are not convinced regarding the reform packages.

Until 2013, all primary school students had to recite the student oath at the beginning of every school day. The oath, which aimed to give “nationalistic and moral value” to students, ends with the line “How happy is he who can say I am a Turk,” a line deemed by ethnic minorities to be discriminatory.

It was removed from schools after an instruction issued by the AKP government that year. The years-long judicial process was ended last week as the Administrative Court approved the government’s decision in 2013.

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