Censorship of Turkish poet's chant in school books revealed

Censorship of Turkish poet's chant in school books revealed

Censorship of Turkish poets chant in school books revealed

Hürriyet photo

A chant written by Turkish poet and Sufi mystic Yunus Emre had one of its quatrains omitted in 10th grade school books published by Fırat Publishing, daily Evrensel has reported.

The omitted quatrain describes "heaven" and "houris;" Yunus Emre expresses his love for God by saying he desires only God, neither heaven nor houris.

The Education and Training Committee (Talim ve Terbiye Kurulu) of the Turkish Education Ministry was revealed to have approved the expurgated version of the chant because the "necessary gains expected from the poem are already satisfied in the deficient version," daily Radikal reported.

Experts have different opinions on the issue. Several experts have said the totality of the poem should have been preserved in the book. However, a former president of the Education and Training Committee maintains a specific part of a poem can be used for a specific purpose in a schoolbook.

Yunus Emre is one of the best known Turkish folk literature poets. He lived at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century, probably in south-central Anatolia.