Turkey’s secular education communities have expressed concern about the state of science education in their country after the concept of evolution was removed from its high school curriculum nationwide.
“The last crumbs of secular scientific education have been removed,” Feray Aytekin Aydogan, the head of Egitim-Sen, a union of secular-minded teachers, told The New York Times in June.
Alpaslan Durmus, the chairman of the Education Ministry’s Education and Discipline Board, said in a video published on the ministry’s website that “students don’t have the necessary scientific background and information-based context needed to comprehend” evolution. But Aydogan disagreed, adding that evolution “is one of the basic topics you need to understand living beings, life and nature.”
While most Turks are Muslims, the country is legally a secular state. Critics fear that this is another by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to transform the country’s culture from secular to religious and conservative.