It’s all over but the crying.
Pity the poor Christian father whose daughter has to either study some form of Islam, or fail.
“It seriously damaged my child’s psychology,” said Guvener, who heads the Protestant Church in Diyarbakir. He accuses the school of deliberately forcing religious education on students […]”
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Pastor Ahmet Guvener managed to get his daughter, a Christian, an exemption from mandatory religious classes in her Turkish school. But he soon found that the 17-year-old wasn’t really off the hook.
As an alternative to the classes at her school in Diyarbakir, in southeast Turkey, she would have to choose from three electives: the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Quran or basic religious knowledge — or fail the year.
“It seriously damaged my child’s psychology,” said Guvener, who heads the Protestant Church in Diyarbakir. He accuses the school of deliberately forcing religious education on students — a claim the teachers’ union denied.
Turkey has long enshrined the secular ideals of founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, particularly in an education system that until recently banned Islamic headscarves in schools and made schoolchildren begin the day reciting an oath of allegiance to Ataturk’s legacy. Now proponents of Turkey’s secular traditions claim President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking a new path, building a more Islam-focused education system to realize his stated goal of raising “pious generations.”