Rise of Turkish Islamic Schooling Upsets Secular Parents

Rise of Turkish Islamic Schooling Upsets Secular Parents

Almost a million students are enrolled in “imam hatip” schools this year, up from just 65,000 in 2002 when Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power, he told the opening of one of the schools in Ankara last month. Read More

Two Views on Education: With Neşe Özgen and M. Alper Dinçer

Two Views on Education: With Neşe Özgen and M. Alper Dinçer

TR: Have enough studies been done in Turkey to get a general idea about the benefits of attending hazırlık (prep) courses?

Alper Dinçer: There are very few studies on this specific issue and almost all of these studies focus on the role of prep courses for the university exam. Thus, we know very little, if anything, regarding the impact of prep courses on SBS [TEOG, or Transition from Primary to Secondary Education] exam scores. Read More

Turkey’s Long Game: How 12 Years of AKP Rule Has Eroded the Secular State

Turkey’s Long Game: How 12 Years of AKP Rule Has Eroded the Secular State

The National, David Lapeska
On a brilliantly sunny afternoon in September, dozens of pre-teens kicked footballs and chased each other across a concrete playground in front of the 60th Year School in Sancaktepe, a working- class district on Istanbul’s Asian side.

Among a group of mothers keeping watch, some had recently protested against the school’s colonisation by a religion-focused middle school, known in Turkey as an imam hatip school. Last year, as a pilot project, the imam hatip school commandeered nine classrooms and welcomed 300 students. This year it has 20 classrooms and 750 students. Read More

Turkish Reforms Entangle Education

Turkish Reforms Entangle Education

New York Times, Ayşegül Sert
The term “New Turkey,” meticulously coined and methodically delivered by the government to penetrate the public psyche, and reiterated during the campaign for Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid for the presidency, continues to reverberate long after he has won. Read More

Secularists at Bay

Secularists at Bay

The Economist
“A NEW Turkey” was the promise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who became its first elected president on August 10th. No sooner was he sworn in than Mr Erdogan said he would move out of Ataturk’s palace, in Ankara’s secular Cankaya district, into a new state-of-the-art complex on the edge of the city. Never mind that an Ankara court ruled in February that the site was environmentally protected. “If they [the court] have the power to demolish it [the new office], let them, I shall sit in it,” Mr Erdogan said. Read More

Closing Down Prep Schools Another Poor Education Policy Decision

Closing Down Prep Schools Another Poor Education Policy Decision

Today’s Zaman, Yonca Poyraz Doğan
The evidence says that going to prep schools increases a student’s probability of entering university by 10 percent. This might mean a huge difference for a student. The second finding is that sending a student to a prep school is a big financial burden on a family. Third, if a child does well in school, the family of the student tries to find financial ways to send the student to a prep school; this and the first finding tell us that disadvantaged children can socially move upward if they go to prep schools. If you put all of this together, we are not convinced that shutting down prep schools will either improve quality of education in Turkey or increase educational equality,” said Batuhan Aydagül, director of the Education Reform Initiative (ERI or Eğitim Reformu Girişimi, ERG). Read More