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Berlin negotiates opening of Turkish schools in Germany with Ankara’s help

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The German government is negotiating with Ankara over plans to create Turkish schools in Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt, three of the five largest cities in Germany and home to significant populations of Turkish citizens and Germans of Turkish descent, Deutsche Welle English service reported, citing the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily.

The potential agreement would work in much the same way as the three official German schools set up in Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

In 2018 the Turkish government ended up shutting down the school in İzmir, saying it lacked a license to operate.

The negotiations, in which Germany’s federal government and federal states responsible for schools have been involved, have been ongoing since last summer, and a draft agreement is currently under review.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the planned agreement with the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is now aimed at “securing the legal basis for German schools abroad in Ankara, İstanbul and İzmir.”

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the proposed Turkish schools in Germany will be operated as so-called replacement schools. Although these private schools would be allowed to choose teaching methods and hire staff, they would impart learning content that is equivalent to that in public schools. They will require state approval and will be subject to the respective state laws.

As with other countries that have established schools in Germany, the Turkish government itself cannot operate the institution. Rather, it must be run by a private organization.

Nearly 3 million people with Turkish roots live in Germany, half of whom hold German citizenship.

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