Turkish Education Ministry to uphold protocols with religious cults and communities in 2024

Turkey’s Education Minister Yusuf Tekin has stated that the ministry would continue collaborating with Islamic cults and organizations in 2024. 

Duvar English

Turkey’s Education Ministry Yusuf Tekin declared on Dec. 17 that the ministry would uphold the protocols it has with Islamic cults and organizations in 2024,

Speaking during the Parliamentary budget meetings, Tekin stated that the Ministry had 2,709 protocols in total, ten of which were made with Islamic cults and organizations they define as non-governmental organizations, according to reporting by ANKA News Agency.

“We have at most ten protocols with NGOs you like to call religious cults and organizations, and we will continue these protocols,” Tekin said and thanked the organizations they have collaborated with. 

The Minister responded to the disapproving reaction of the opposition deputies, “You are jealous because you cannot take the children up the mountain thanks to these organizations,” referring to recruitment by Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

Tekin emphasized he would continue signing protocols with religious cults, and that the Education Ministry would continue collaborating with Islamic organizations “to never raise people (the opposition) can recruit.” 

The Education Ministry’s proximity to certain Islamic organizations such as the İsmailağa community as well as compulsory religion classes and the increasing influence of religious officers at schools has long been criticized by teachers’ unions and other advocates of secular education. 

The ministry’s negligence in the child abuse case connected to the Community at the end of 2022 especially drew criticism, in which one of the leaders of the İsmailağa Community, had “married off” his six-years-old daughter to another member. It was revealed that the Ministry did not detect the fact that the victim was out of school at that age, in violation of Turkish laws.