More Turks, more happiness?
Erdogan calls for protesters “to hang from trees”– blames “foreignÂ agents” for unrest
“Drunkards, twitters, spies, looters, fascists (he didn’t mention the Jews, not yet, anyhow….)
In other news:
Conveying a love of country or stirring up chauvinism? A fierce dispute has broken out around this question in connection with Turkish tuition in the schools of North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW). The accusation that Turkish diplomatic posts see themselves as a “parallel oversight authority” in the German education system is now also being heard.
A four-volume series of language textbooks, which was given to German schools free of charge by Turkish consulates, has become a bone of contention for the teachers’ trade union GEW. The books are nationalistic and falsify history, according to the teacher’s trade union GEW. The books printed by the Turkish Ministry of Education in Ankara are characterised by a factually very one-sided view of Turkey. Their 800 pages glorify Turkishness, the history of the Turkish republic and the Ottoman empire. They include lists of the conquests of Ottoman rulers and examples of the “mercifulness of the Turkish people”. What is actually missing however are the dark chapters of Turkish history. But the criticism of the GEW goes much further. It is not just that Turkish diplomatic offices are attempting to influence the education in German schools, but that they apparently see themselves as “parallel school oversight authorities”, according to a resolution passed by the NRW [North-Rhine Westphalia] trade union conference of the GEW.
…In fact the teacher’s trade union is not alone in its criticisms. The view of the Central Council of Armenians in Germany (ZAD) is that the books distributed by Turkish consulates are clearly nationalistic and convey a false view of history. Specifically, the ZAD chairman, Azat Ordukhanyan, references the representation of the Armenian Genocide of 1915/16 in one of the textbooks. “For many years Armenians and Turks lived together in peace. When the English and Russians incited the Armenians to weaken the Ottoman empire during the First World War, the Turkish army mobilised in eastern Anatolia and, as a result, the Armenians signed an agreement renouncing land in Anatolia,” according to the textbook. Not a word about massacres, death marches or the hundreds of thousands of victims of the genocide.
The textbooks distributed by the Turkish consulate, which appear to be in widespread use in the schools of North-Rhine Westphalia, are not the only sign of Ankara’s power of influence however. Although NRW trains its own Turkish teachers at the Institute for Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg in Essen, as of yet these have not been enough. Of the 339 teachers who teach the subject Turkish, only slightly more than 150 were trained in NRW. The others primarily consist of so-called “consulate teachers”: teachers who received their training in Turkey and were sent by the Turkish consulate to provide tuition in German schools.
Islamic tuition, a pilot project of the red-green [tn: this means from a governing political coalition between the Socialist and Green parties] schools policy, will offer additional opportunities for NRW education policy to be influenced. In the Muslim council, which is to be closely involved with the educational offering, the state-controlled Turkish religious authority sits at the table via its subsidiary DITIB. What was constantly excluded by politicians before Islamic tuition was introduced, now seems to be becoming ever more of a reality: if teachers are actually only ready to cooperate generally with a mosque community, the council is now openly exerting pressure on applicants for teaching positions. In the course of the interview, membership in one of the four Muslim umbrella associations – including the Turkish DITIB – is now being required in an undisguised fashion.
Some more extracts from the books from another article on the same topic:
“Happy is he who calls himself a Turk”
…”Our land is the pearl of the world!”, it says on page 48 of the third volume.
Only eight pages later the “Mercifulness of the Turkish People” is described based on a fictional war story: a foreign soldier is fighting in Anatolia against the Ottomans and is seriously wounded. He is captured. But the Turks heal his wounds and let him go. Impressed by this “Turkish goodness” the enemy soldier has the Turkish flag tattooed on his arm…