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Turkey turns traditional

| March 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

In Turkey, school students will now be required to study Ottoman Turkish as part of the national school curriculum. The decree was issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ottoman Turkish is a notoriously difficult subject, written in a type of Arabic script and based on ancient Persian dialects. It was discontinued in 1928 in favour of a more modern, Latin-based vernacular Turkish.

Erdogan has also instructed schools to set up special ‘religious values’ classes for children as young as six years old. The move has caused consternation amongst critics who accuse Erdogan of trying to ‘Islamicise’ the public schools and halt the modernisation of Turkey. To parents who complain that ancient Turkish is “irrelevant”,

Erdogan has stated that knowledge of the older tongue will help young Turks reconnect with their past and read old documents and gravestones. “History rests in those gravestones,” said the leader, who came under recent fire for building a new presidential palace with more than 1 000 rooms.

Category: Autumn 2015

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