Turkey has since the death of Ataturk left the West, reverted back to its Islamic roots.
Erdogan Vows to Make Ottoman Turkish Compulsory in Schools
Turkey’s President says he will make lessons in the Ottoman language compulsory despite objections from secularists.
By Ben Ariel
First Publish: 12/10/2014, 5:46 AM
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to make lessons in the Arabic-alphabet Ottoman language compulsory in high schools, despite objections from secularists, AFP reports.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, abolished the Ottoman language in 1928, replacing its Arabic alphabet with a Latin one.
He also purged the language of many of its Arabic, Persian and Greek words to create a new “pure” Turkish closer to the language people spoke.
Critics claimed Erdogan’s vow to reintroduce teaching of the language “no matter what they say” was another bid to roll back Ataturk’s secular reforms, which were based on a strict separation between religion and state.
Turkey’s National Education Council, largely made up of members backed by Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government, voted over the weekend to make classes compulsory at religious high schools and an option at regular high schools, noted AFP.
The council also voted to ban bartending classes at tourism training high schools.
Erdogan argued the lessons were necessary to restore Turks’ severed ties with “our roots”, with most unable to read the tombstones of their ancestors.