CHP deputies protest new curriculum, deem it ‘outdated’

Turkish main opposition CHP deputies have walked from the Parliament to the Education Ministry to protest the latter’s new curriculum. The deputies said the new curriculum serves the AKP’s “own ideological obsessions.”

Duvar English

A Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegate on May 3 walked from the Parliament to the Education Ministry in the capital Ankara to protest the new curriculum.

The delegate included CHP Deputy Chair in charge of the Education Ministry Suat Özçağdaş, CHP Group Deputy Chair Murat Emir, and deputies. 

Murat Emir said the Ministry has imposed “their own ideological obsessions” under the name of “Education System of the Century of Turkey” which was prepared “behind closed doors.”

“What our children need is scientific, modern, secular education. Yet, every education minister (of the AKP) had the main purpose of removing national education from its national character and binding it to religious and especially reactionary ideas,” Emir said

The ministry announced the new curriculum on April 26, which is the fourth overhaul of the curriculum in the last 22 years under the AKP rule. The curriculum used the words “morality” 61 times, and “values” some hundreds of times, and allocated a whole subsection to “preaching patience.”

Emir said they reject this model’s name, preparation, and content. "It is not the place of anyone to take Turkey backwards step by step with these models, to ignore secularism, to make us forget Mustafa Kemal and his revolutions."

“The Century of Turkey vision”, which the curriculum includes in its name, was first declared by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, arguing the second century of the Republic, after 2023, will be marked by Turkey’s successes in the international arena.

Özçağdaş said the AKP government has “de-qualified, marketized and religiousized” education and students migrate to abroad as a result. “Due to the economic conditions of private schools, families face great difficulties as the fees are not covered.”

“This is a political text in which a series of ideological obsessions are reflected. The fact that phrases such as ‘Century of Turkey,’ which are used as election slogans by a party, have become the title of a fundamental field such as national education is an exemplary situation in terms of the imposition of the party-state understanding and the point that public administration has reached,” Özçağdaş added.