Turkish education minister backtracks on remarks in favor of single-sex schools

After receiving widespread criticism over his remarks against mixed-gender education, Turkish Interior Minister Yusuf Tekin has said that he “expressed myself wrongly.”

Duvar English

Turkish Education Education Minister Yusuf Tekin has backtracked after he received widespread criticism over remarks in favor of the government opening up all-girls schools.

“I expressed myself wrongly. I did not mean to say that. My intention was that girls attend school,” Tekin was quoted as saying by the daily Cumhuriyet on July 18.

Tekin has refuted the reports that the Education Ministry might “undertake works against mixed education.” “I have no such intention, and there is no such preparation,” the minister reportedly said.

Last week, Tekin told pro-government broadcaster A Haber that some parents do not send their daughters to school due to mixed-sex education and suggested the establishment of all-girls schools.

“What is my primary goal as a minister? To ensure that girls are getting education. Then we should be able to open all girls' schools, if necessary, in order to convince the parents. Parents should be able to send their children to all girls' schools if they want, or to all boys schools,” Tekin argued.

“Mixed-sex education is essential, but my main task is to increase the enrollment rate,” he added.

During the live broadcast, Tekin was also reminded about his book “Sharia, Legitimacy and Constitutionalism: Democracy Debates in the New Ottomans” and asked “Are you praising Sharia in this book?.”

In response, Tekin said “I wish I had enough knowledge to praise sharia or to write a book about sharia, but I don't. That book is about democracy discussions in Turkey.”