Students in southeastern Turkey largely ignored a boycott by groups affiliated with the terrorist organization PKK against education in Turkish. Most students showed up at schools yesterday according to authorities despite the call for mass truancy.
The boycott stemmed from what some PKK-linked groups said was a protest of the violation of rights for education in Kurdish in predominantly the Kurdish region. Kurdish is already offered at public schools as a selective course but those groups call for the entire curriculum to be in Kurdish.
In the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, schools were filled with students as usual on Monday. Adnan Hurata, Diyarbakır representative of the National Education Ministry said the boycott did not garner support. "We had no problems with attendance. It is safe to say that no students joined the boycott here," he said according to a news report from state-run Anadolu Agency (AA).
Sıddıka Karakaya, the mother of a student in Diyarbakır, told AA that they did not support the boycott. "We don't want our children to be deprived of education. I want my child to complete his studies and get a job, but they don't want this," she said.
In Siirt, another city in the region where several schools were burned down by pro-PKK groups last year, the school year commenced without any problems according to Fethi Suay, head of the local education authority. Suay told AA that there was no school boycott in the city where 110,000 students reside. "We experienced no disruptions to our education system," he said.
The PKK, which claims to fight for Kurdish self-rule in the southeastern Turkey, had resumed its bloody terror campaign in the summer, killing dozens of people including soldiers, police officers and civilians in brazen attacks across the region.