02 July 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 08/24/2013, 00.00

    TURKEY

    Turkish government promoting Islamic schools at the expense of secular education



    Out of more than a million applicants to secular high schools, only 360,000 have been accepted for the 2013-2014 school year. This favours the Imam Hatips, religious high schools centred on Qur'anic and Islamic studies. For education advocate Unsal Yildiz, the government is trying "to impose an Islamist mindset" on new generations and on society.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Turkish government is restricting access to secular schools to the benefit of Hatips Imam, Islamic schools that focus on Qur'anic studies. According to Unsal Yildiz, deputy chairman of Egitim-Sen, an independent trade union representing teachers and educators from primary to high school, Erdogan is using such schools to raise a new generation infused with Islamic values and erase the country's secularist past.

    More than a million "students took the placement test this year," Yildiz said. "This stands as a proof that all these kids want to continue their education in 'academic high schools.' Despite that, the Ministry of Education allowed only 363,872 students to do that. This new system is forcing more than half of the students to continue their education in vocational high schools [or] Imam Hatips. . . . Such a forced imposition on students cannot be accepted."

    For the Egitim-Sen chairman, the ruling party is more interested in raising an obedient new generation, and that is why religious education has become a priority.

    In recent years, the Erdogan government has in fact shifted education funding towards religious schools, improving their organisational and material endowment, at the expense of other schools that are struggling even to find full-time teachers.

    In a recent statement, Education Minister Nabi Avci claimed that families prefer to send their kids in growing numbers to religious education, but for Yildiz, this is not the direct result of personal choice but of government policies.

    The facts appear to back his claim. In 2012 and 2013 for example, there were a total of 1,141 Imam Hatips. Of these schools, 42 were closed due to lack of student enrolment. Of the remaining 1,099 schools, 78 never had a student, and 461 were at half-occupancy. With such low enrolment, the authorities were forced to students into these schools by reducing access to secular schools.

    Speaking on 6 August, Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdogan Bayraktar laid out the Justice and Development Party's views on the matter.

    "This is a Muslim country," he said. "Ninety-nine per cent of the population is Muslim. We have a structure [i.e. Turkish society] that comes from history. Due to Turkey's geographical placement, we don't have inventors. Therefore, we need to put our focus in raising strong, well-educated and mid-level technical workers."

    In ten years of power, Erdogan has tried to reshape Turkish society, favouring an outlook on life inspired by the country's Ottoman past. His government has done so in many ways, from funding blockbuster movies that highlight great Ottoman figures to banning alcohol or the use of lipstick by flight attendants on Turkish Airlines.

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    See also

    08/08/2013 TURKEY
    Ergenekon, the Turkish military's Nuremberg
    With the conviction of the leaders of the secret organisation, whose aim, the court ruled, was to destabilise the government, the Kemalist Era has come to an end. Now, Erdogan's neo-Ottomanism has no one to block its path. This represents the revenge of a traditional Turkey whose new ideology combines elements of the old Kemalism with political Islam in opposition to the existing military-secularist complex.

    30/08/2013 TURKEY
    Persistent rumours suggest Hagia Sophia will be turned into a mosque
    Two other churches in Nicaea and Trebizond that served as museums have already been converted into mosques. With Hagia Sophia in Constantinople as the symbol of Ottoman conquest, Erdogan's neo-Ottoman plans need such a symbol to cover up Turkey's economic and social crises. For Bartholomew I, Hagia Sophia could only reopen to worship as a Christian church.

    01/06/2015 TURKEY
    Erdogan’s campaign centred on Islam and nationalism
    As head of state, he is constitutionally barred from party politics. However, he is holding rally after rally appealing to conservative Muslim voters. A video from the ruling party released to commemorate the conquest culminates with the Muslim call to prayer being recited from a minaret at Saint Sophia, which is now a museum.

    14/04/2008 TURKEY
    In Ankara, a "lesson" from Barroso on what the EU means
    On his visit, the president of the European Commission emphasised the political and civil meaning of the Union, called for the resumption of reforms, and expressed preoccupation over the legal proceeding aimed at outlawing the governing party. A visit to the ecumenical patriarchate.

    11/10/2004 TURKEY
    Christians and Muslims speak about Man and the future

    A bomb explodes near the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate as the conference was underway. Qu'ran preaches pluralism, a Muslim intellectual says.





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