Students of Medrese-i Hayriye school in Greece's Komotini staged a protest yesterday to oppose what they called the Greek government's pressure on schools' autonomy. They formed a human chain in front of the school to bar Cihad Halil, a cleric assigned by the Greek state, to enter the school for a ceremony to mark the start of the new school year. Halil managed to enter from another door but the school was largely empty for the ceremony because of the protest.
Medrese-i Hayriye is run by a foundation of the Turkish Muslim minority of Greece which complains of the Greek government's intervention to curriculum and authority of the school administration. The invitation of Halil, a cleric not recognized by the minority, to the school by the deputy principal was seen as another infringement on minority's rights. The Turkish minority has been fighting for years for the right to elect their own religious leaders.
Students from Turkish Muslim minority staged a similar protest last year, this time over the reduction in Turkish language classes.