The army and police have taken over some schools in Kurdish areas of South Eastern Turkey, as they continue besieging communities. Tanks have enircled the city of Cizre and kept up a bombardment of the town.  In another city which has been badly affected, Sur, many buildings including schools have been burned out. The aim seems to be to get the populations to leave, in a policy which the Turkish government describes as 'cleansing.' Over a hundred civilians have been killed including some children and there are already 10,000 refugees from the area.

As we reported last month, teachers and other public employees were ordered to leave Cizre and Silopi, which many did, leaving children and schools bereft. The leader of the Turkish teachers union Egitim Sen said at the time:  “The Ministry of Education's action will lead to serious psychological harm to children by separating them from their teachers. The duty of the ministry is not to support the government's policies of war but to fight against all kinds of problems and practices that can obstruct education and the teaching process.”

Education International has sent a letter to the Turkish government deploring the violence and calling on the government to withdraw its forces from schools and allow education to continue.

The violence being meted out by the government has been largely ignored by the western media and indeed by the European Union, which is anxious to placate Turkey in order to prevent it from allowing more of the 2.5 million refugees from the Syrian conflict into Europe.