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French town bans Arabic and Turkish language courses

Mayor of the French town of Migennes François Boucher banned on Tuesday teaching Arabic and Turkish languages in the schools under his administration for “security reasons”, Anadolu reported.

Boucher was elected from the center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) that was later renamed The Republicans and is currently led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Migennes Turkish Culture Association Deputy Chairman Faruk Bıyık told Anadolu that Turkish and Arabic classes, which were being given in public schools as part of mother tongue and culture education courses (ELCO), were banned due to “security and terror threats”.

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Bıyık also said that around 90 students were taking the classes. He and his associates reportedly asked the French Education Academy and provincial governorate about the mayor’s decision. Both bodies denied any decision banning the teaching of these two languages.

Despite not meeting with the teachers, Bıyık said that Mayor Boucher accused the teachers of Turkish and Arabic classes of not knowing French, saying that it was unclear where they had come from.

Bıyık described the decision as unjust, noting he would continue efforts to re-introduce the courses.

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