Compulsory religion class 'against the law,' Turkey court rules

"Every child has the right to free, secular and scientific education," told the parent, who won the case with the support of Enlightenment Movement against Reaction
Turkish AKP government has been reshaping the educational system along Sunni Islamic lines.
Thursday, 20 December 2018 22:26

Selnur Aysever, a Turkish mother of a primary school student, won a lawsuit on December 19 against the compulsory Sunni Islamic classes of her daughter with the support of the Enlightenment Movement against Reaction.

Aysever had appealed with a petition on October 5, 2017, to the directorate of national education in İstanbul by demanding her daughter’s exemption from Islamic classes. As the directorate had rejected the appeal by asking Aysever to "prove your affiliation with Christianity or Judaism," the parent had resorted to a court in İstanbul.

Country's education system offers only Christian and Jewish pupils the possibility of being exempted from religion classes.

Following the legal procedures of almost a year, a court had cancelled the "rejection" decision on the grounds that the directorate’s decision had been unlawful. The victory of Aysever demanding exemption from religious classes has been approved by a recent court decision, considering that “compulsory religion classes violate the principle of equality”.


Aysever shared the recent court decision on social media. “This picture proves that I have won the lawsuit against compulsory religion classes. The judgment is definitive now, and my daughter will be exempted from religion classes throughout her educational life,” she said.

Aysever also thanked her lawyer Özge Demir from the Enlightenment Movement, a nationwide anti-reactionary movement established in 2016 with the call of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) against the Islamist policies of the government.


Talking to soL, the victorious parent, Aysever, said that she was very happy about the court decision. "Every child has the right to free, secular and scientific education. The struggle against compulsory religion classes are important but not enough," she said, adding that calling on the people to fight reactionary policies in all the fields of social life.

Stating that many parents could not take action with the fear of being blacklisted, she said that they took hope from the recent victory, and called on parents for a common struggle.