Demirel College in Tbilisi closed down
Photo: Radio Liberty
The Ministry of Education and Science has made the decision to close down the Private Demirel College (PDC), which has been operating in Tbilisi since 1993.
The school was closed just 16 days before the start of the new school year. Now, pupils will have to find another school with just a two week notice period.
The official reasons cited for closing the college is due to shortcomings in its educational system and the prevalence of fraud.
As the Deputy Chairman of the Government Committee of Authorization of the Ministry of Education, Gia Murgulia, said to a correspondent of Interpressnews, the school had problems in three sectors which resulted in its license being revoked.
According to him, the more important question was the school’s attitude towards foreigners. For example, Murgulia says that pupils from Iran or Iraq had to write several exams in one day, which was rather difficult.
“Citizens of other countries were sometimes accepted into the school and only notified one day prior to the start of the school year, and individual academic programs were made for them. Pupils wrote 6-7 tests in just one day – on Georgian language and literature, physics and chemistry as well as history and biology. This is an unimaginable and indescribable violation of the rules. Besides this, there were also apparent incidents of fraud,” stated Gia Murgulia.
D emirel College has been surrounded by scandals for several months. On 24 May, after the Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim visited Georgia, Georgian legislative representatives arrested the head of the college, Emre Çabuk. The Turkish side demanded his extradition to Turkey.
Despite the fact that representatives of the college categorically denied any connection between the institution and the Turkish opposition figure Fethullah Gülen, problems in the educational institution have been viewed and examined in the context of the campaign against Gülen.
Imam Fethullah Gulen was accused of an attempt to overthrow the government of his former companion Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, with his supporters subsequently having fallen under serious persecution by Ankara.
Gülen’s organizations in Turkey were denounced as terrorist organizations and all his educational institutions were closed by Turkish authorities with thousands of his supporters ending up behind bars.
Erdogan demands that similar measures be taken against his supporters in friendly neighbouring countries, as educational institutions under Gulen’s patronage function throughout the world.
Georgian experts contributes the arrest of Çabuk and the closure of the Demirel College to Ankara exercising pressure over Tbilisi.
Demirel College is not the only educational institution in Georgia which has had problems because of its alledged connections with Fethullah Gulen.
Earlier, the Ministry of Education and Science revoked the license of the Shahin School in Batumi.