Turkish Education Ministry halts anti-Armenian documentary screening in schools

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey's Education Ministry has halted the distribution of a controversial documentary about the Armenian issue to all elementary schools after its move incited fierce reactions among academics and intellectuals, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The ministry had distributed "Sari Gelin - The True Face of the Armenian Question," a documentary developed by the General Staff, to all schools around the country, requesting that all students see the film and asked school directors return a "conclusive report" to the related administration by Feb 29, 2009.

The ministry said in a statement Wednesday that "the film was sent to schools for the benefit of the teachers, not the students."

"There was no directive suggesting watching of the documentary was compulsory in schools. But some schools used the film inappropriately," the statement said.

Academics have criticized the documentary for reflecting the official ideology of the Turkish Republic on the Armenian Genocide.

Some 500 Armenians and intellectuals sent an open letter to the Turkish Prime Minister protesting the Ministry's move.
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