More than 100 schools damaged by PKK, education minister says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 27.06.2016 20:35

National Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz said on Sunday that the PKK terrorist organization has damaged more than 100 schools in the terror-stricken southeast, claiming that it wants to vandalize each valuable thing in the country.

Speaking in the central province of Sivas, Yılmaz said the PKK is not a local constituent of the region: "It is not an organization that was formed in order to meet the demands of people in this country or that region either. It is a foreign pawn."

Saying that terrorism in the southeast has no values and damages children and schools without discriminating, he said the damage will be rebuilt by the government soon through additional courses in some districts where the security operations continue.

"They have damaged more than 100 of our schools. However, we will complete their reconstruction in the upcoming school year," he said.

Despite the end of the school year coming on June 13, the process was prolonged in some schools in southeastern provinces due to security forces' clashes with the PKK and students having to finish their classes one week late.

The PKK has attacked schools since it ended a two-and-a-half-year cease-fire in July 2015. Since then it has planted bombs inside school yards and set schools on fire, putting dozens of children at risk.

The PKK threw a handmade explosive into the yard of Nuriye Eser Elementary School in the Bağlar district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır in January. The attack came on the last day of the first term. Five students who were at the school to receive their report cards were injured in the attack.

A handmade explosive was planted in the yard of a nursery school in the southeastern province of Şırnak in late December 2015. The terrorists reportedly aimed to use children as human shields while attacking security forces who arrived at the scene. A high school was also torched with Molotov cocktails on the same day in the Hakkari province.

The PKK also set eight schools and a dormitory on fire in the İdil district of Şırnak on Jan. 14.

A secondary school and a high school were also set on fire with Molotov cocktails in the southeastern province of Van on Jan. 19. Even though no one was killed or wounded in these attacks, the buildings were damaged.

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