Pre-school administration in Turkey forces children to listen to a sermon on the July 15 coup

A public pre-school’s administration in Istanbul forced children to listen to a sermon on the July 15 failed coup as one of their "student activities"
Friday, 16 March 2018 15:25

Mustafa Pars Kindergarten, the only public pre-school in Istanbul’s Bakırköy, organized a sermon (khutbah) on the July 15 coup as a "student activity" as part of its March events.

The event schedule signed by kindergarten manager Sevinç Şentürk announced that the pre-school's children will be taken to a Friday prayer and listen to a sermon on Turkey’s July 15 failed coup.

According to the event sharing, the plan is for kindergarten students from 5-A (classroom) would listen to "a sermon on the July 15 coup" in the mosque, students from 5-B would participate in a "drama about the July 15 coup", students from 4-A would hold a painting exhibition event focused on the coup, and July 15 coup themed field trip would be arranged for students from 4-B.

After the failed July 15 coup in Turkey in 2016, many teachers from various kindergartens, primary and high schools made children lay on paper box tanks and perform funeral prayers with the support of the Ministry of National Education (MEB). In one of these schools, kindergarten students staged a play titled "The 15th of July in a child’s language."

Young children acted out events such as the arrival of tanks, the reading of the coup manifesto on a national TV channel, the call of the president and the people who poured to the streets chanting religious slogans and lying in front of a tank.

In 2017, the MEB decided to teach the failed July 15 coup to pre-school children, still uneducated, within the scope of a "Summer Training Program" under the name of ‘Special Days and Weeks’ as the July 15 Democracy and National Unity Day.  

The MEB had also given an order last year to teach the Quran to pre-school children, who do not even know how to read and write, before primary education.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), attempting to put the July 15 coup and Islamic traditions into the curriculums of all basic educational levels, aims to compose a new historiography for Turkey under a Turkish-Islamist synthesis by rewriting the past with the purpose of raising a "pious and vindictive generation".