Turkish education policy on sects

19 Aralık 2023 Salı

Did you watch the speech made by Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin during the budget discussions in the Parliament?

I watched it in shock. I saw a person who was unaware of what he was saying, having transformed his belief into ideology.

In his speech, he discussed the protocols made by the Ministry of National Education (MEB) with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). “As of 2023, the Ministry of National Education has 2,709 protocols in effect. Of these, 1,167 are with official institutions, 550 with NGOs, and 986 with various NGOs from TEMA to the Red Crescent,” he said before bringing up the protocols made with religious communities.

Minister Tekin stated, “Among these, there are perhaps 10 protocols with what you call ‘sects, communities,’ which we refer to as ‘NGOs.’ I thank those who support us through these protocols and we will continue to make agreements with them.”

He justified this by saying: “Because they prevent children from going to the mountains. You are uncomfortable with them for this reason. I will continue to sign protocols with these NGOs to prevent our children from going to the mountains, to avoid using your human resources, and to prevent training people for this purpose.”

This is unbelievable. He shamelessly brings into education the communities that exploit children, not just sexually, but in terms of destroying their entire thought processes and talents.

How can you benefit from these communities with any kind of protocol when they are not even authorized to provide religious education?

An article from Yeni Şafak newspaper dated January 2, 2017, comes to mind regarding Minister Tekin. Yusuf Tekin, while he was the undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education in 2017, declared at a conference in Trabzon:

“As soon as I took office in the Ministry of National Education in 2013, I was threatened. I faced an incredible smear campaign against myself, my colleagues, my family, and my children, from January 2013 onwards because I openly said that this monopolization was a serious betrayal of the country's independence and future, and because I openly stated that they were alienating the country's children and youth by recruiting them through tutorial centers and brainwashing them. In 2013, a very high-level person, a minister, explicitly told me, ‘Fetullah Hoca sends his regards. Tayyip Bey will appoint you as undersecretary to the Ministry of National Education, we are warning you. If you go, if you accept, we will disgrace you, make you unable to face people.’ A Minister said this.”

According to Yeni Şafak newspaper, the person who threatened Yusuf Tekin was Suat Kılıç, the then Minister of Youth and Sports.

Indeed, during his time as undersecretary, Yusuf Tekin had dealt with members of the Fethullahist community. He was the undersecretary of the MEB who prepared the decree to close the tutorial centers, despite opposition from influential organization members within the ministry, following Prime Minister Erdoğan's instructions.

Where was your mind until they settled in there is a different matter, but we keep going back and warning Minister Tekin, who did these things for years, it's unbelievable.

Today's community is tomorrow's uncertain organization. Don't work with them.

Now, what does the minister say from the podium of the Parliament?

“What you call ‘sects, communities,’ we call ‘NGOs’...”

Weren't 35,000 people expelled from the Ministry of National Education? Then, how can you benefit from this terrorist organization, which appears as an NGO, including 1410 associations, 19 federations, 4 confederations, 109 foundations, and 19 unions? Moreover, why were 881 educational institutions, 108 student dormitories, 47 health facilities, and 15 universities closed during this process?

Has it come back to the period of ‘our sects and communities are good, others are bad’? Let's see when these sects will turn into terrorist organizations for you.

Minister, who also advocates opening girls’ schools under the pretext that “families do not want to educate their daughters in the same school as boys,” I wonder which “NGO” is behind this idea?

We don't learn, that are sects and communities are being placed inside the Ministry of National Education so that new July 15th events can happen. And the minister himself is stating this from the podium of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

He is not even aware that years later these cadres will flourish and develop, and our children will face new FETÖs.

After July 15th, we know that the state acts with the logic of ‘a nail drives out another nail,’ but over the years, it's always Turkey and its poor children who suffer the damage.

By the way, the minister defended the collaboration with these communities by saying, “They prevent children from going to the mountains,” but were the commanders who gave orders and the lower-ranked soldiers who executed them on July 15th coming from the mountains?

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