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Turkish education ministry admits textbook scandal


The Selçuk Erdem cartoon shows a polar bear waving offensively at a man in the waters of the sea, telling him, “Hold my hand. ”

Education Ministry officials admitted that none of the 18 officials responsible for overseeing textbooks had seen an obscure cartoon included in a Turkish-language textbook.

The pages with the cartoon will be torn from each book before being distributed to students, DoÄŸan News Agency reported. The cartoon shows a polar bear waving offensively at a man in the waters of the sea, telling him, “Hold my hand. “

The cartoon on page 13 of a Turkish exercise book for sixth graders is part of an exercise to get students to think about what the cartoon actually involves.

The book was checked by 18 officials before it was printed, said Alparslan DurmuÅŸ, head of the education council of the Turkish education ministry, but the cartoon “fell through the cracks”.

“This is a very explicit example of the thoroughness we need to be in the bidding, analysis and distribution of books sent to our schools. The artist’s statement that his permission was not taken raises the issue that the subject of plagiarism needs to be re-evaluated again, ”said Merih Eyyup Demir, head of the education workers’ union (EÄŸitim Sen) for the Aegean province of Izmir, about the ministry. officials remove controversial cartoon.

Meanwhile, DurmuÅŸ discussed women’s obedience to the male patriarch in the household hierarchy as a religious service during a press meeting on September 9. a woman must obey the male patriarch.

“We talk about the Islamic religion in the lectures on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. It says [in the book], ‘The spouses owe each other obedience and loyalty.’ He says, if there is a division of labor, if necessary, the woman obeys this [division of labor.] If the roles change, the duties and responsibilities change accordingly, ”said DurmuÅŸ.

“At the time when the definition of ‘head’ existed in our civil code, it [the relevant article] had said, ‘the person obeys whoever is at the head [of the household]. ‘ And now the concept of a “head of household” is under discussion and it has been said “there is obedience under a head of household”. If the roles change, the obligations also change, ”said DurmuÅŸ.

Another problem raised by some was that Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, did not have enough room in the newly prepared program. “In Turkish classes, from the first to the eighth grade, there are six compulsory units. One of these units covers the theme of “National Struggle” [the Turkish War of Independence covering 1919-1923] and Atatürk… There is no need for ignorance and folly.

If you’re not telling the story chronologically, you’re not talking about the story, ”DurmuÅŸ said of the topic.
Another issue controversial by some in the book was the chapter on “Types of Marriage Deemed Unacceptable”. Durmuş referred to chapters considering marriage to people of religions other than Islam, including atheists, as “unacceptable”.

“It is not I who find it so, it is Allah. This is one of the conditions of marriage in Islam, ”he said.

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