Iraqi, Afghani and Syrian refugee children have been sent to a single school in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir due to being unwanted by other schools in the area, daily Evrensel reported.
The Ömer Aydın School has reached enrollment figures of more than 1,000 elementary and middle school students, all of whom are refugees.Turkey's Afghan refugees scammed by countrymen in homebound bank transfers
The parents of the students were reportedly requested to have their children enrolled in the school due to other schools supposedly being full or because the children would have difficulty with Turkish.
Teachers who did not want to be named have said that it is unacceptable to isolate the refugee students as it will make it difficult for them to adjust to life in Turkey.
Smaller numbers of refugee children coming from relatively well-to-do families were reportedly able to enroll in regular schools alongside Turkish students.
School principal Recep Sulublut said that the school is open to everyone regardless of nationality.
“We don't look at whether or not a [student] is a foreigner. Our school is located in a neighborhood of the city which can be considered a ghetto. For this reason it may not have the same student profile of other schools,” Bulut said.
The Kırşehir Eğitim-Sen educators union criticized the isolation of the refugee students.
“They were having problems with the local students due to leaving their countries, having language problems and war trauma. In particular, war trauma has caused refugee children to play violent games, such as throwing stones. For these children, this is a game. For these reasons, some parents took their children out of school or they did not want refugee children at school,” said Kırşehir Eğitim Sen branch chairman Özdemir Beyhan.Afghan migrant thrown off building by human traffickers in eastern Turkey