Jihad added to the new Turkish curriculum while evolution is taken out

Jihad added to the new Turkish curriculum while evolution is taken out

Education Minister that took evolution out of the curriculum and added the teaching of jihad defended the change by saying 'jihad is in our religion'.


Education Minister, İsmet Yılmaz, announced the controversial curriculum that has been discussed since January. Jihad has been added to the curriculum whereby evolution has been taken out. The explanation by Yılmaz is that “destruction and war are not part of jihad but defending the country is.”

Eğitim-Sen [Education Union] General Secretary, Feray Aytekin Aydoğan, stated that the curriculum did not take opinions put forward into account and that they will continue to defend a curriculum based in science.  


In total 176 amendments are made to the curricula of primary, secondary, high school, religious vocational school and religious high schools that are also known as ‘Imam Hatip’.

Yılmaz announced that “15 July Democracy Victory and National Unity Day [the defeat of the attempted coup] will be added to the new curriculum” and claimed that the current curriculum is the most democratic and inclusive ever.


Yılmaz said that they will be making announcements about compulsory religious education in the new curriculum next week. He further added, “ Jihad is a component of lessons on ‘Islamic Law’ and exists in basic religious education. There is no need to feel uncomfortable about this [teaching of Jihad], in fact, one would expect it to be demanded if it was not being taught. Destruction and war are not part of Jihad but defending the country is; and furthermore, it is our responsibility to teach what Jihad is and isn’t. The new curriculum will deal with organisations such as FETO [the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed for last year’s attempted coup], PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) and DAES [ISIS] too.”


Theory of Evolution has been taken out of the curriculum. Yılmaz argued that each subject to be taught in secondary school was decided on the ability of pupils and therefore evolution theory has been left to university level education because pupils ‘do not have the necessary philosophical base’ in secondary level to be taught this subject. 

Eğitim-Sen General Secretary, Feray Aytekin Aydoğan said the “draft curriculum across all subjects is based on values. All subjects are based on values and are restructured accordingly. A curriculum befitting statements by AKP government of “New Turkey: a vindictive and religious generation, all schools will be religious schools” has been created. There are statements about the removal of evolution from the curriculum because it will not be understood. After Saudi Arabia, we will go down in history for being the second country in the world to have taken evolution out of text books. What kind of scientific explanation warrants the removal of evolution, which should be part of the curriculum from pre-school -where children are taught about the earth and its creatures at every level-, and its replacement by the concept of Jihad.”