Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Tuma Çelik urged the government to open schools that teach in Assyrian in a speech at the parliament April 16.
"The government needs to provide education in their native language in neighborhoods, villages and districts where there is a large population of Assyrians or other minorities,"
Çelik noted that the 1923 international Treaty of Lausanne mandates that governments provide opportunities for education in minorities' native languages in areas where their population is dense.
"Despite the clear mandate in the Treaty of Lausanne, Assyrians didn't have the opportunity to teach in their native language. What's worse is the last Assyrian schools in the country, in Mardin and Diyarbakir, were closed by the government in 1928."Assyrian priest released pending trial
Çelik noted that even though most Assyrians had to migrate out of Turkey over time, in 2013, an Ankara court did acknowledge the Treaty of Lausanne and grant the minority permission to teach in their native language.
"But Assyrians couldn't act on that permission because of their living conditions."
Çelik noted that education is an expensive endeavor, which is why it's a responsibility of the government to aid minorities in the matter.
"The government takes out money for [religious-teaching] Imam Hatip Schools from minorities' taxes, but minorities don't get money for schools, churches, or the clergy."
"We don't request any privileges, We just request our human rights granted by international law, citizenship law and the Constitution."Syrian gov't recognizes Armenian genocide