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The Moslem Seminary, MedgidiaCod 1221

The Moslem seminary was founded in Babadag in 1610, by the will donation of the military commander from the area, the general Gazi Ali Pașa, who also financed the construction of the mosque from Babadag, where he is also buried. The seminary continues the activity of the oldest medrese(en) of Dobrogea, situated at Babdag and founded in the year 1484, during the sultan Baiazid the IInd.[1] The seminary functioned sporadic until after the Romanian Independence War, when Dobrogea was reclaimed by Romania.

In 1880, Mihail Kogălniceanu for the approval as language studies of also the language used by the principle minorities. Building on this principle, the Romanian authorities named professors, designated “mullahs”, who would teach the children the Turkish language, even in the Romanian school frequented by Moslem children. In the program Normal school of teachers and institutors from Constanța, created in 1883, it was listed the fact that the study of the Turkish and Bulgarian languages is mandatory.

Taking into account the existence of the former seminar of Babadag, the Law for organizing Dobrogea from the 9th of March 1889, art. 21, decides: “There will be founded in the city of Babadag a Moslem seminary with the purpose of forming the heads of the mosques and of teaching the principles of the Moslem religions. This school will be supported by the state.”

In 1901, Spiru Haret moved the seminary to Medgidia, in a premise made available for free by the local Moslem community. The seminary offered classes of Arabian and of Koran interpretation, among other subjects associated with the education and with keeping the traditions of the Turkish – Tatar minority. Graduating this seminary conferred the right to be named in the Moslem clergy.

Together with the instauration of the socialist regime in Romania, it wasn’t involved anymore in supporting the minorities. In 1967, the Seminary from Medgidia, the only institution which looked after teaching the Turkish language and reading the Koran in Arabian, with preparing the clergy in order to become imams, was closed, under the motivation of the lack of candidates.

After 1990, the president of Romania, Ion Iliescu and the president of Turkey, Suleiman Demirel, signed a protocol for re-founding the Moslem seminary and for the reconstruction of the complex of buildings of the former Moslem seminary from Medgidia, through which the Turkish part is engaged in completely financing this construction.

In 1995, another protocol signed between the Romanian state and the Turkish state, transforms the Moslem seminary from Medgidia in the Pedagogical and Theological High school Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, funded by the Government of Ankara, high school which also has a boarding school. Starting with 2000 – 2001, the high school became the National College “Kemal Atatürk”.



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