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Closed Turkish College to address court

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, September 4
The Private Demirel College, which was shut down last week due to a lack of authorization to operate, is going to appeal to Georgia’s courts when the decision of the Authorization Council is officially published.

The Authorization Council of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE), an agency under the Ministry of Education which studies the conformity of educational institutions with standards set by Georgian legislation, decided not to grant authorization to the college, citing problems with the registration, as well as the school’s infrastructure and equipment.

The Administration of the college has released a statement, saying they will consult with their lawyers and non-governmental organizations, and in accordance with the law will address the courts to “prevent the violation of pupils and teachers' rights.”

“This decision limited the right of education to 350 students and up to 100 employees face unemployment,” the statement reads.

The administration added that during 2016-2017, financial police entered the college and summoned school staff for questioning.

The college staff stressed that the manager of the Demirel College, Mustafa Emre Chabuk, was detained on ungrounded charges and sentenced to pre-extradition imprisonment, while Demirel College was repeatedly referred to by various media outlets as an institution linked with terrorists.

“The college administration is concerned and disappointed with such an approach towards the school that has been successfully operating in Georgia since 1993,” the statement reads.

GiaMurghulia, a member of the Authorization Council, says that the closure of the college is not only due to procedural violations but also because of signs of possible crimes being committed.

"We think that there are very serious instances of crime, but we do not have the professional capability to evaluate this. Therefore, we addressed the Quality Management Center to assess the expediency and send these documents to the Prosecutor's Office,” he stated.

The Ministry of Education also commented on the issue. NataAsatiani, head of the Public Relations Department, stated that the College had violations, and added that the Ministry would assist in transferring the students and teachers to other schools in Tbilisi.

The decision to close Private Demirel College came three months after its manager, Mustafa Emre Chabuk, was detained on charges of having links to the FETO organization, registered in the United States and associated with Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating a military coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, 2016.