On Wednesday, the head of the education ministry's curriculum board Alpaslan Durmuş announced that a section on Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution would be excluded from biology textbooks in the ninth grade (14 and 15 year olds) from next year on.This has been brewing for some time in Turkey. Ten years ago, while the creationist movement had Adnan Oktar (nee Harun Yahya), as its voice, there was not unified support within the administration. That has changed.While there is resistance, it is not clear how much of it the new, conservative Islamic government will allow.
Students are "too young to understand 'controversial subjects'", he said, adding that the topic will be delayed until undergraduate study.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already approved the proposed changes to the national curriculum, which are expected to be published next week after the Muslim Eid ending the fasting month of Ramadan.
"Turkey will be the second country after Saudi Arabia that excludes theory of evolution from its curriculum," says Feray Aytekin Aydogan, the head of Egitim-Sen - a teachers' union representing over 100,000 members across the country.
"Even in Iran, there are 60 hours of lessons on evolution and 11 hours on Darwin himself," she adds.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Trouble in Turkey
As Tayyip Erdogan tightens his control over secular Turkey, the most recent casualty is evolutionary science. The BBC News reports: