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Netherlands -Turkey Relations: Worries in the Dutch Parliament about Turkish cultural schools in the Netherlands for Dutch children of Turkish descent

Turkey has advised the Dutch Government to finance Turkish cultural schools in the Netherlands for Dutch children of Turkish descent

In these schools Turkey wants to give language lessons, lessons in history and religion. The classes in the schools must consist of a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 25 pupils. The children must follow the courses for at least 32 weeks, and no longer than 40 weeks.

The 'weekend school project', officially called  "Anadola Hafta Sonu Okullar Proje Destek Program", is said to have as its major aim to preserve the identity and culture of young Turks living abroad and to strengthen ties with their homeland, Turkey.

The Dutch ministry of Social Affairs said in a reaction that "countries are free to stimulate the preservation of their own language and culture among their fellow countrymen abroad" and said many countries, including the Netherlands already do so. ''

The ministry, however did note that -  "what we do not want is education that aims to hinder integration in the Netherlands or to stimulate anti-democratic views. If there are signs that this is happening, the government will act. ''

Note EU-Digest: the objectives of the Turkish proposal, which still has to be voted on in the Parliament, and approved by the Dutch government, certainly does not promote a rapid and smooth integration process for Turks, who want to fully integrate as citizens of the Netherlands. 

To the contrary, it promotes a continuous attachment to the former home country, which certainly can not be the main purpose for a person immigrating to another country.

There is obviously nothing wrong with anyone treasuring his heritage or culture, but to enforce this with special schooling is not only costly, but also totally unnecessary, unless there is a political motive behind it.

And last but not least, where is Erdogan going to get the money from to finance this project, with his country on the verge of bankruptcy? 

 For the complete report go to: Zorgen in Tweede Kamer over Turkse scholen in Nederland | Binnenland |

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