Hundreds of teachers faced a police crackdown on Nov. 23 as they joined in a march in Ankara to protest the government’s policies on education on the occasion of Teachers’ Day. Seven protesters were injured during the crackdown, while one female teacher sustained cerebral trauma due to the impact of a gas canister fired by the police.
The teacher, Aslı Akdemir, has been transferred to the hospital. Doctors said although severe, her injury wasn’t life-threatening.
The demonstrators, who came to Ankara from all over Turkey, assembled at the iconic Tandoğan Square on a call from the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen. However, the police did not allow the crowd to pursue their march past Kızılay Square, resorting to tear gas and water cannons after the demonstrators forced police barricades, aiming to pursue their protest.
Tension on education rose this week after the government announced plans to change the status of test prep institutions, known as dershanes, transforming them into private schools. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said they would not back down on the measure, criticizing the test prep institutions for favoring the high-income families.