Turkish government obliges kindergartens to have Islamic prayer room

Turkey's Education Ministry has amended the regulations to require preschool education institutions to have a masjid (Islamic prayer room).

Duvar English

Turkey’s Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) on Oct. 31 announced that the Education Ministry has amended the Regulation on Preschool Education and Primary Education Institutions to require masjids (Islamic prayer rooms) in preschool education institutions.

Under the regulation, children as young as 36 months and up to 68 months old can receive education in pre-school education institutions.

The earlier article in the Regulation mandated to open “places of worship (ibadethane in Turkish, a more neutral term)” in regional secondary boarding schools and allowed to reserve a place in preschool and primary education institutions if requested. 

The amended version made it compulsory to open “masjid” in kindergartens and primary education institutions along with boarding schools. 

Eğitim-sen issued a statement on the issue and said, “Instead of meeting the learning and development needs of children in accordance with their best interests, it is unacceptable to expand the practices of proselytizing and commercialization of education starting from preschool years."

The union also stated that parents would be charged a registration fee under the name of "contribution fee,” with the recent amendment. Public education is free of charge in Turkey.