This book narrates and analyzes a century of the Turkish education system and textbook indoctrination starting from the foundation of the Republic until today. It divides the history of Turkish education into five periods: Single party government (1923–1950), Menderes' Democrat Party government (1950–1960), the 1960 coup generals and their successors' governments (1960–1980), the Turkish-Islam Synthesis oriented Atatürkist governments (1980–2002) and finally the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government (2002–). By using the content analysis method, this book exposes Kemalism's metamorphosis into "Turkish-Islam Synthesis" influenced Atatürkism. For the first time, Cohen Yanarocak analyzes the indoctrination of this post-1980 official ideology through history, religious studies, civics, and national security knowledge textbooks. It goes beyond the Atatürkist period and examines the gradual but drastic Islamization of the whole curriculum and school textbooks at the expense of Atatürkism under the AKP. In this framework, this book highlights the recent penetration of controversial concepts such as Neo-Ottomanism, Jihad, and Pan-Turkism into the current Turkish school textbooks. Certainly, the ramifications of the current textbooks will influence the lives of millions of people. Therefore, this book functions as a crucial manual to understanding the current political environment in Turkey.
Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak is the Turkey expert at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS) and the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC) at Tel Aviv University.
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Historical Background: The Rise of Atatürkism
Chapter 2: Indoctrination of Atatürkism in National Security Studies Textbooks
Chapter 3: Indoctrination of Atatürkism in Religious Culture and Ethics Studies Textbooks
Chapter 4: Indoctrination of Atatürkism in Republic of Turkey, History of its Reforms and Atatürkism textbooks
Chapter 5: Indoctrination of Atatürkism in Civics Studies Textbooks
Chatper 6: The Fall of Atatürkism and the Rise of Islamism: Transformation of the Education System and the School Textbooks under the AKP
About the Author
In this masterful volume, Dr. Cohen Yanarocak tracks Turkey’s sinuous ideological transformation under president Erdoğan—through curriculum and school textbooks. What young Turks learn today will guide how they see the world tomorrow. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in Turkey and its place in the world.
Via a thorough study of the textbooks that have instructed Turkish children over the past nearly one hundred years, Dr. Cohen Yanarocak’s book adds vital nuance and texture to our understanding of the evolution of Turkish state ideology since Atatürk’s time, including the past twenty years of AKP control; in so doing, it reveals a worrisome contemporary effort to shape youthful Turkish minds in an anti-American, anti-European, and anti-Israeli direction. This book is an invaluable contribution to understanding the history of the Turkish Republic—and, quite possibly, its future.
A very impressive and comprehensive analysis of the dramatic ideological upheaval modern Turkey went through. By conducting a thorough content analysis of official Turkish textbooks, Dr. Cohen Yanarocak finds a unique but effective way to explain the undercurrent streams of the Secular-Islamic confrontation. A very original way to examine and explain the rise and fall of Atatürkism.