Government Nixes Teaching Evolution in Turkish Schools

Students will not learn the theory in primary and secondary schools nationwide. 

By Aggie Mika | June 23, 2017


  As part of a new nationwide curriculum to be revealed later this month, primary and secondary schools in Turkey will no longer teach evolution, The Independent reports, a change that has received Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stamp of approval. Starting in 2019, Darwinism will no longer be included in biology classes, according to Turkey’s board of education Chair Alpaslan Durmus, the report states.

Turkish Minister of National Education Ismet Yilmaz revealed plans for a new curriculum in January, reports SOL International.

This change represents a deviation from current norms. As reported by The Guardian, evolution is taught in Turkish and Middle Eastern schools, even though most Muslim members of the clergy reject the theory.

According to The Guardian, Durmus “said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for students.” His statements parallel those made by Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, who earlier this year described evolution as “archaic and lacking sufficient evidence.”

Durmus, The Guardian reports, also says that among other changes, the new curriculum will aim to highlight Turkish and Muslim scientists, and that parents and the public have helped to shape the proposed changes.

The move has received backlash from Turkish universities, The Independent reports, and highlights an ongoing battle between the county’s secularists and conservative groups. 

Correction (June 29): After a reader pointed out that the image was not of a school in Turkey, we replaced it with a photo of a Turkish primary school. The Scientist regrets the error.

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Avatar of: James V. Kohl

James V. Kohl

Posts: 532

June 26, 2017

See for comparison: Teaching Creationism As Science Now Banned In All UK Public Schools

Only the UK schools and schools in the USA lag behind those who are teaching ecology or pairing it with teaching of nonsensical of theories so that students learn the difference between facts about the virus-driven degradation of messenger RNA and fiction that links virus-driven energy theft to beneficial mutations.

See also: Israeli Middle Schools School to Include Theory of Evolution

"...learning about evolution is not the primary function of the decision, but rather to use it as a building block for students to learn more about their ecology."

Avatar of: PopolVuh


Posts: 4

June 27, 2017

Turkish and Muslim Nobel Laureates in Science. Total of three: 

Abdus Salam: 1979, Physics (Pakistan, PhD in the UK)

Ahmed Zewali: 1999, Chemistry (Egypt, PhD in the US)

Aziz Sancar: 2015, Chemistry (Turkey, PhD in the US)


Abdus Salam and Ahmed Zewali are deceased.

Aziz Sancar is working in the US. He must be reading the news and crying for his native country....


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