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Turkey: Police Clash With Demonstrators

Istanbul, 8 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - Turkish police clashed today in Istanbul with Islamist demonstrators over a government plan to extend the length of compulsory education in secular schools.

About 200 police, using a water cannon, scuffled with demonstrators protesting the plan to extend compulsory education from five to eight years.

Correspondents say that extending the length of compulsory education would prevent primary school age pupils from enrolling in religious schools run by Islamist organizations.

The new secularist government of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz presented parliament with a draft bill on extended education late last month.