Turkey opens school to teach Turkish in Syria’s al-Bab

AL-BAB, Syria (North Press) – Turkey’s Yunus Emre Cultural Institute opened on Saturday a school for teaching Turkish language in the city of al-Bab in Aleppo eastern countryside, north Syria.

This came as part of a campaign aimed at educating 300,000 children the Turkish language and culture in areas occupied by Turkey and are under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Armey (SNA) in northern Syria.

This campaign came in conjunction with the seventh anniversary of the first Turkish military operation in Syria, known as “Operation Euphrates Shield,” which was launched on Aug. 24, 2016, during which Turkey occupied the cities of al-Bab and Jarablus.

It is worth noting that the Yunus Emre institute had previously opened its first branch in the city of Azaz in 2020.

According to Arabic al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper, the third branch of the Yunus Emre Institute will be opened on Monday, in Jarablus, east of Aleppo, while the fourth branch will be opened in Afrin on Tuesday.

The Yunus Emre Institute serves as Turkey’s main instrument for promoting its language abroad, the newspaper noted.

Several media reports have discussed Turkey’s ongoing and systematic policy of Turkification in the occupied areas in northern Syria, which involve making the Turkish language a core subject in schools and universities.

Turkey opened several schools and centers for teaching the Turkish language in areas under its control in northern Syria.

Late in Feb. 2021, Turkish officials opened a cultural center in the city of Jarablus in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.

It was preceded by the Turkish government’s opening of a Faculty of medicine and a Public Health Institute in the city of al-Ra’i, north of Aleppo, by a decree issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Additionally, Turkey has undertaken actions to modify the civil registry of the local inhabitants in the cities of al-Bab, Afrin, Jarablus, Azaz, Akhtarin, Mare’, Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), and Tel Abyad. This includes renaming neighborhoods and imposing the use of the Turkish lira.

On Aug. 10, the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition opened a park in the city of Azaz naming it after the deputy Wali of the Turkish southeastern city of Kilis, Omer Yilmaz.

The issue received with widespread anger and outcry on the social media in light of the growing racism and racial discrimination against Syrians by the Turks.

Previously, the name of the “Amina bint Wahb” School in the city of al-Bab was changed to the name of a Turkish officer who was killed in Syria. However, unidentified individuals have removed the name and restored the school’s original name.

This came within the policy of ‘Turkification’ Turkey has adopted since it has occupied many areas in northern Syria, including raising the Turkish flag and imposing Turkish IDs on the population, as well as the Turkish language, which is taught in schools and institutes under its control. The Turkish lira also has become the common currency.

By Malin Muhammad