An atheist is 'no good,' says Turkish MP
Özcan Ulupınar. DHA Photo"An atheist youth is no good to anyone," the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Zonguldak Deputy Özcan Ulupınar said during a controversial speech at the opening of a new mosque in Zonguldak's Çaycuma district.
"What harm could come from a religious generation?" Ulupınar was quoted as saying on private broadcaster NTV's website. "[A religious person] is good for the family, for the country, for the nation, for himself... An atheist youth is no good to anyone. It doesn't matter if they injure us or shoot us, 4+4+4 will pass this week."
The opposition parties and civic groups have mobilized against the government’s education bill, which would increase mandatory education from eight to 12 years, divided into three four-year tiers, and is expected to be put up for debate. The bill has come under fire for permitting the introduction of vocational schooling, including religious education, after four years, as well as a home-study option after eight years. The exclusion of preschool from the 12-year compulsory program has also been widely criticized.