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Kizilyurek to raise English textbook issue at European parliament

Niyazi Kizilyurek

Turkish Cypriot MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek said on Wednesday he will table a discussion at the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education about the education ministry’s handling of the English textbook with a reference to Kemal Ataturk and the call on teachers to tear that page out.

The ministry withdrew the book last week after its previous instructions to “tear out” the ‘offending’ page sparked outrage when posted on Facebook by an English teacher earlier in the week.

The page in question contains a reference to Ataturk, the first president of the newly formed Turkish Republic one century ago, in an exercise called ‘Turkey’s greatest hero’. It also has an exercise about the famous Mexican communist artist Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Kizilyurek told the Cyprus News Agency that committee chair Sabine Verheyen has already been in touch with Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou over the issue of painter and headteacher George Gavriel.

“Ripping a page out of a book, or withdrawing a book in very nationalistic tones is a move that will undoubtedly come up in the committee’s next session, and one I will be bringing up myself,” he said.

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