Some people in Izmir protested the growing influence of Islam in schools in Turkey on Friday. They were dispersed by water cannons.
Education is the latest flashpoint between the administration of President Tayyip Erdogan, and secularist Turks who accuse him of overseeing creeping ‘Islamization’ in the NATO member state.
Riot police were out in force on Izmir’s streets, with water cannon being used to disperse banner-waving demonstrators who had gathered in the center of the city, according to pictures from Dogan news agency. At least one person was seen being led away by plain clothes security officers.
Parts of some regular schools have been requisitioned to create more places for students in “Imam Hatip” religious schools championed by Erdogan, where girls and boys are taught separately. Almost 1 million students are enrolled in those schools, up from 65,000 when AKP came to power in 2002.
Sort of a Turkish Tony Blair then.