Teachers Protesting in Istanbul Teachers are protesting all over Turkey against the failure of the government to employ them "We cant get married we cant plan our future, we cant buy new clothes, we cant promise anything to our mums. We dont want to answer these questions anymore : 'Teacher arent you a real teacher?', ' Hey couldnt you get your assignment yet?', 'Are you a contracted(temporary)?' so says Ozdemir Ece on behalf of the estimated 350,000 unemployed teachers in Turkey. By its own estimate the Turkish Education Ministry urgently needs 180,000 teachers if it is to fulfil its obligations to educate the young people of Turkey. Yet it has only employed some 15,000 teachers. They partly make up the shortfall by employing teachers on short term contracts at a third of the poper salary. (See: http://www.teachersolidarity.com/blog/contract-teachers-a-world-bank-%e2%80%98solution%e2%80%99-for-education/). Not only that but they employ people who aren't graduates to teach. In one case they employed a mechanic to teach English for example, says Ozdemir. And of course they don't pay the proper insurance for the teachers nor do they pay for the holidays. There are reports of 27 unemployed teachers killing themselves over the last few years in despair at what Ozdemir describes as the'darkness' they are living in. As he puts it: " Their demands are simple: they want to do their jobs. They want to develop the country.They want to share what they have learnt with their students. The country needs teachers but teachers are jobless because of the wrong policy.Thats why we are protesting all around Turkey: we want everbody to live an honorable life." The unemployed teachers have organised demonstrations all round Turkey. The picture above shows a demonstration in Istanbul on the 18th September when teachers piled up all the books which they needed to become a teacher. Says Ozdemir: "We say a truck cant carry these books but teachers carry them in thier minds". The unemployed teachers of Turkey want the world to hear about their plight. Please send messages of solidarity by posting comments on this site.