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For Turkey’s Greek minority, an island school provides fresh hope

A Greek school on an Aegean island in Turkey has reopened after half a century, raising hopes that Turkey’s dwindling Greek minority will escape extinction.
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On Sept. 28, Turkish newspapers reported that a Greek school was reopened after four decades on the Aegean island of Gokceada, known as Imbros in Greek. In reality, however, the school was reopened after 51 years. Moreover, the closure of Gokceada’s Greek schools in 1964 was not because they ran out of students, as the reports said, but because the Turkish state had shut them down.

Half a century ago, the schools had about 450 students. Today, the number is 14 — three students in primary, five in secondary and six in high school. Barring those in primary school, only one student was born on the island. The others are the children of Greek families, natives of the island who had immigrated to Greece and are now drawn back by the revival of schools.

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