ANKARA - In the latest move of the Turkish government to show its disapproval of the recent conflict in Gaza, the Education Ministry issued a directive to primary and high school administrations calling for a minute’s silence for Palestinians killed in the Israeli offensive in Gaza.
The directive said, "With this stand in silence the atrocities in Palestine are condemned. This is also an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people," reported the Anatolia news agency.
"Fifteen million Turkish students manifested their sense of solidarity, a democratic reaction was expressed," Çelik said responding to journalists questions about the moment of silence.
He also said they previously planned to hold a drawing and literary competition among primary schools under the subject "Drama of Humanity in Palestine" but the idea was dropped with the concern that "people may turn this into anti-Semitist propaganda."
"Our government is definitely against accusing a whole nation. It is unacceptable, however, it is also out of the question for us to stay silent when children, mothers and fathers are dying there openly because of Israel’s attacks," he said. "If one day the same thing would happen to Israeli children, we would give the same reaction." He said the ministry would hold a campaign for Palestinian children. "Gaza’s infrastructure is paralyzed. They need the world’s help to raise this place back onto its feet," Çelik said.