President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected debating a proposal to teach the Ottoman language in compulsory classes at high schools, saying it will be taught whether critics like it or not.
The president made the comments after recent a debate on whether to introduce the Ottoman language in high school programs, Hurriyet Daily reported.
The proposal was put forward by the Democratic Teachers Union, which argued that many documents from the Ottoman era, including some inscriptions on gravestones, cannot be read today as Turkey switched from using the Perso-Arabic script to the Latin-based alphabet in 1928.”Losing a discipline is disaster for a nation. There are those who don’t want Ottoman [language] to be learned and taught. This is a very big danger,” Erdoğan said during a speech at a meeting of the Directorate General of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in Ankara.
“Whether they want it or not, Ottoman [language] will be learned and taught in this country,” he continued. “The scholars of Turkey still stand tall despite the pressure and efforts to sever our ties with our roots for the past 200 years.””You are the ones who will raise a civilisation that has collapsed. As a Muslim, I know very well that this religion has an owner who will protect it. It falls on our shoulders,” the president added.”If we can do our best for religion, then sectarian conflict will end. If we can ask the right questions, we will stop bloodshed.”
Some people see Mr. Erdogan’s move as reflecting a broader goal of restoring an Ottoman-like state. His remarks have added fuel to a debate set off last week by the National Education Council, which proposed that Ottoman language classes become mandatory at religious high schools and be offered as optional electives in secular high schools. The council also called for classes in “religious values” to be taught to children as young as 6.
The recommendations have drawn widespread criticism from parents and political opponents, who argue that the council — and the Islamist-led government of Mr. Erdogan — is trying to “Islamize” the public schools and roll back Ataturk’s secularization and modernization of Turkey.
Mr. Erdogan’s exercise of power has stirred criticism of his government’s measures to quash opposition and rein in the judiciary and the media, and of his new presidential palace, with more than 1,000 rooms.
Burak Dimli Kaynak Araştırma: 10.12.2014