October 10, 2011 - 10:38 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Gedikpaşa Armenian Protestant Church opened its doors this school year to 84 students whose parents are undocumented immigrants in Turkey from Armenia. The classes are held in the basement of the church, and some of the makeshift classrooms have no doors. The classrooms used to be divided by curtains before board separators were recently installed, Today’s Zaman reports.
“Thanks to donors from the Armenian community in İstanbul, we have some more appropriate materials for the children,” Rev. Kirkor Ağabaloğlu of the Gedikpaşa Church said.
He said they started out in 2003 with four children, taught by teacher Heriknaz Avagyan. “Back then, no school would accept those children,” he said.
This is what happens to children of “illegal Armenian workers” if they are born in Turkey. Their parents cannot apply for Turkish citizenship for their child. According to laws in Turkey, only Turkish citizens of Armenian descent are allowed at “Armenian minority schools” in the country, the report says.
At the Gedikpaşa Church’s school, Armenian teachers, who are also undocumented immigrants from Armenia, follow the educational calendar of Armenia, use the books which are used in Armenia and adhere to the educational system of Armenia in their teaching, it says.