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An American University in Istanbul For Islamists

Secular Turkish daily Cumhuriyet reported that an American University opened its campus in Istanbul where students are allowed to attend classes with turban, veil and bourqa-like Islamist attire. It is said that female members of the faculty also cover their heads.

Some students and parents voiced their complaints to the media and said, “We believed that we were enrolling to a school with American standards. What we found were classrooms filled with students wearing turbans, veils, even bourqa-like attire. The foreigners also cover themselves when they teach. Even in English class the teacher talks about religion [Islam] and serving God”.

Cumhuriyet reported that a spokesman from the public relations unit of the university defended their policies by saying, “Our [parent] Alfred University of New York accepts students with turban [Islamist headcover]; naturally we do the same thing here. One of the reasons we opened this campus is because there was a void for this here, in Turkey.” The university said that they do not operate under YOK [Higher Education Council] regulations and that their graduates would need to apply later to YOK for accreditation. Due to the high demand for registration among Islamists, the university is already building its second campus in a suburb of Istanbul.

The Islamist Turkish daily Vakit reported the opening of the American university for Islamists on its front page under the title: Here Is Free Education

It was reported later that Higher Education Council (YOK) filed a complaint with the courts against the University for violating the laws governing Turkish universities.

Source: Cumhuriyet, October 26 and 28, 2007

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The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) Blog features brief news items from Arabic-, Farsi-, Urdu-, Pashtu- and Turkish-language news media sources.

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