The Guardian

'They want a devout generation': how education in Turkey is changing

As pupils begin their new school year, they will find evolution removed from texts and less time spent on Atatürk’s secular ideals
Turkish schoolchildren visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in Ankara. Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

After 25 years of teaching, Ayşe Kazancı decided to retire early.

The social sciences teacher, who asked that a pseudonym be used to avoid repercussions from the government, had long faced difficulties because of her activism, joining teachers’ union strikes and advocating for leftist and Kurdish causes. After last year’s coup attempt in Turkey, she was put under investigation.

But the introduction of a new curriculum at schools across the country this academic year was the last straw.

As children return to school after the summer break,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian5 min readPolitics
Trump Wanting To Buy Greenland Is Yet Another Sign Of Putin’s Puppetry
Greenland didn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly – it’s very much on Russia’s radar for its unknown supply of oil, gas and rare metals
The Guardian5 min readSociety
Jay-Z Has Crossed The Picket Line With His NFL Deal | Derecka Purnell
The rap star thinks racial justice will come from corporations and billionaires. That’s self-serving and wrong
The Guardian4 min readPsychology
‘Self-care’: How A Radical Feminist Idea Was Stripped Of Politics For The Mass Market | André Spicer
Audre Lorde proposed a series of calming activities as a way to survive adversity. Now it’s just another form of ‘me time’