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Turkey closes German Embassy school in İzmir for ‘lacking a license’

PHOTO: Deutsche Welle

Turkish officials have closed a German Embassy school in İzmir, with the head teacher telling German press agency DPA that the officials said the school lacked a license.

Dirk Philippi said a group of local as well as Education Ministry officials entered the school on Saturday, less than a day after students left for their summer holiday, to give him “written and oral” notice that the school would be closed, Deutsche Welle reported.

There are about 180 children between the ages of 2 and 20 enrolled at the school and its kindergarten.

According to its website, the school operates as “a branch of the German Embassy’s private school in Ankara.” Philippi, however, said it was “structurally assigned to the Consulate General in Izmir.”

A statement released by the embassy said, “We call on the Turkish government to urgently explain the reasons for the closure of the school.” It stressed that the schools were an “essential” element of cultural and educational relations between the countries.

Berlin has asked the Turkish government to further explain its decision to close the school.

“I am convinced that this is a temporary closure,” Philippi said, adding that the incident may be due to something as simple as a missing document.

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