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The issue of immigrants’ right to education in Turkey and Europe

Buğrahan Hıdıroğlu

     Migration movements are increasing as a result of the wars in the Middle East. Being a bridge between the Asian and European continents, Turkey is in a popular location for migration movements. People who cannot return to their country due to civil wars and various reasons have to lead a permanent life in the country they are in. Problems such as security and accommodation that emerged in the first years of migration are replaced by the increase in child labor and the emergence of uneducated generations in the following years. The fact that the migrating population is mainly composed of young people and the necessity of ensuring the social cohesion of the migrating people reveals the importance of education. Educational activity directly contributes to the development of societies by influencing the development of individuals. Education is a process in which a person develops his/her abilities, behaviors and adds new knowledge to himself/herself. According to Tezcan (2000), the fact that these children go to foreign countries during the compulsory education age caused them not to learn their language sufficiently and their education in their mother tongue to be incomplete. This situation caused them not to learn both languages ​​sufficiently and to fail at school. The right to education is protected by Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights.

     The project, which is the most up-to-date and comprehensive study on the education services offered to refugees, is the Financial Assistance Program for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT), carried out with a 300 million Euro direct grant from the European Union to the MEB. Although Turkey is a country that receives immigration very often, it is insufficient in developing and implementing immigration policies. However, there is no guidance or conditional directive regarding the education to be given to immigrants across the country. Schools are not prepared for migrant education and teachers will teach migrant children; citizenship for intercultural education, human rights, discrimination against immigrants, etc. no guidance has been given. Topçuoğlu (2012) examined the profile of migrant children and, noting that the necessary statistical data on migrant children is not available, recommends reorganizing the participation of migrant children in education, making legal arrangements to ensure the participation of migrant girls in education, and providing in-service training for educators. Teachers think that due to the lack of class equivalence, immigrant students are not in classes suitable for their level of readiness, they cannot show academic success, they have problems in harmony with other students, and immigrant families do not give the necessary importance to the education of their children (Ereş, 2014).

    When we look at the regulations in Europe, it is possible to say that a healthier picture emerges. When we look at Germany, which is one of the countries that receive the most immigrants in Europe, it can be seen that intensive language support is provided in the classes established at the primary and secondary education levels, which are called “Willkommensklassen” and translated into Turkish as “welcome classes”. In addition, financial support is given to meet the additional personnel and course needs of the schools. In addition, the “Support for Children and Young People with Migration” program should be taken as an example. This program was initiated to strengthen cooperation between different school levels and parents. There are four main areas in which education policies for immigrant children are implemented in Austria; language learning, equal opportunities, teaching support and parent involvement. In terms of access to education services, the legal base is the same for native and migrant children. However, the fact that a newly arrived migrant child does not have sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction (German) requires her to attend language support classes outside the regular program. In France, local education units (Rectorats) have a department that is responsible for the access of newly arrived students to school. These sections are called CASNAV. The aim of this section is to coordinate the education of children at the local level, to do teacher training, to prepare the education curriculum, to work in coordination with different institutions, to collect data on the arrival of immigrant children. In the light of these data, it is observed that there is a serious legislative gap in our country. Necessary studies are carried out for the participation of future generations in life. It is essential to ensure the integration of refugees in our country by carrying out similar studies in our country, taking into account the relevant regulations of European countries.



  1. Ereş, F. (2015). Türkiye’de Göçmen Eğitimi Sorunsalı ve Göçmen Eğitiminde Farklılığın Yönetimi. Çankırı Karatekin Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, Cilt 6, Sayı 2, 17-30.
  2. İşigüzel, B. ve Baldık, Y. (2019). Göçmen Toplulukların Eğitim Sistemine Katılımı Sürecinde Uygulanan Eğitim ve Dil Politikalarının İncelenmesi. Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli Üniversitesi SBE Dergisi, 9(2), 487-503