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İstanbul education directorate launches probe into students’ Nazi salute at football match

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The İstanbul Provincial Directorate of National Education has launched an investigation into a Hitler salute given by the students of an international high school to the students from a Jewish high school during a football match in the city earlier this week, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The football team of the Üsküdar American Academy, a private coeducational high school, collectively gave a Nazi salute to the players of the Ulus Private Jewish High School after scoring a goal during a match on Tuesday. The incident has led to an outcry among Jewish circles and rights activists.

According to Anadolu, inspectors from the directorate are investigating the incident.

The Üsküdar American Academy confirmed the incident in a written statement released on Twitter, saying that they were “deeply saddened” by the “wrong action” committed by some of their players and that they stand against all kinds of discrimination.

“We have urgently contacted the school officials of Ulus Private Jewish High School, conveyed our sadness and launched the necessary investigation. We respectfully announce to the public that we will follow the issue with sensitivity and importance,” the statement added.

Journalists and social media users criticized the students for the salute as well as their parents and teachers for the way they raised them, saying it was an act of “vulgarity.”

“[This is] not Nazi Germany or the 1940s, but today’s Turkey. … First, their parents should be ashamed and then their teachers,” Karel Valansi, a columnist for the Shalom newspaper, tweeted.

An Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945, Adolf Hitler rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming chancellor in 1933 and then assuming the title of Führer und Reichskanzler in 1934. He started World War II in Europe by invading Poland in 1939, was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust, the genocide of 6 million Jews and millions of other victims.

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