World Bulletin/News Desk
Two textbooks to be used in Turkish language education have been published in Bulgaria for the first time in 20 years.
Students who study Turkish at Bulgarian schools have been taking classes without any textbooks. The last Turkish textbook to be published in Bulgaria was in 1993 and is no longer used in schools.
A ceremony was held on Monday to mark the first distribution of the textbooks in Sliven with the participation of İsmail Aramaz, the Turkish ambassador to Bulgaria. The books were given to students at a Sliven school. A total of 1,500 books have already been sent to schools in Shumen and Kardzhali and 1,000 have been sent to the city of Burgas. The books will be distributed nationwide for students studying Turkish upon request.
Emine Halil, a teaching assistant at the University of Shumen's department of Turkish language, said the books were prepared last year, but the Bulgarian authorities only recently approved their publication. In remarks to Today's Zaman, Halil said the books target fourth graders.
She said the books were first distributed in Sliven's Yablanovo village because 230 out of a total of 250 students are studying Turkish at the village school, where Turkish classes have been offered since the 1990s. Halil said the Turkish textbooks for the first, second and third graders are ready but have to wait for official procedures to be completed before being printed.
In Bulgaria, 114,000 students were receiving Turkish lessons in 1992, while this figure dropped to 7,000 in 2011. Every year parents have to submit a request for their children to receive Turkish education, which is an optional course.Last Mod: 30 Nisan 2013, 10:08