(Gatestone Institute) After the minimum age for Quran studies in Turkey was abolished in 2011, a project named “Pre-school religious education through Koran classes” was piloted in ten cities across the country in 2013. The project teaches “basic Islamic information” to children between the ages of four and six. Since then, the number of “pre-school Koran classes” has continued to rise.
The number of religious “imam hatip schools” has climbed from 450 in 2002 to 4,112 in 2017. Meanwhile, there are only 302 specialized science high schools in the country.
“There are religious organizations… [that] pump their own ideologies on children through classes in ‘values education’ … We know that they use one-sided language that demonizes those who are different. We observe that the students who are exposed to such curricula consider those who think differently to be their ‘enemies.’… When one looks at countries such as Afghanistan, where similar steps were taken, one can see where this process leads to.” — Ilknur Bahadir Kaya, chairman of the Parents’ Association.