CHP leader slams curriculum change extracting Ataturk and İnönü

CHP leader slams curriculum change extracting Ataturk and İnönü

CHP leader slams curriculum change extracting Ataturk and İnönü

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Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed educational policy amendments envisioning the removal of the founder leaders of Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü from the curriculum. 

“Their education policies. What they are going to do, they are supposedly removing Atatürk and İnönü [from the curriculum]. A political rule which does not respect history cannot represent Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu told his party group in parliament on Jan. 17. 

“This country has its own saviors. Why do you avoid your own history? Why are you ashamed of it?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked.

His comments came after the Education Ministry published its plans for an update to the curriculum that would alter many areas of the educational syllabus from science to history. 

The ministry’s decision to reduce the parts reserved for Atatürk and extract the parts reserved for İnönü met with fierce criticism from the opposition. 

“It was observed that in the Education Ministry’s new curriculum proposal, the parts including information about the founders of the Republic and Atatürk were reduced and made insignificant and there were attempts to almost erase some parts of history,” Gülsün Bilgehan, a CHP Ankara lawmaker and the granddaughter of İnönü, said Jan. 16. 

“Such efforts have been tried in our political history earlier, and have not yielded results,” she added.
Along with educational policy, the CHP leader criticized the government for not managing economic stagnancy and the social and political crises that Turkey has been experiencing.

“Nobody is interested in the problems of the tradesmen, businessmen and the unemployed. What are they interested in? They insist on ushering in the presidency. The parliament has worked 12-13 hours a day. For what? Insistence on ushering in the presidency,” he said. 

“If this constitutional amendment will be realized, we will create a dictator,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

“If it happens, the regime will completely change. We will transition to an authoritarian presidency from a parliamentary democracy,” he added. 

Meeting with MHP leader: ‘Priority is the motherland’

Answering a question on the scheduled meeting with opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli despite the MHP leader’s fierce criticism of the CHP, Kılıçdaroğlu implied that the meeting would take place.

“If the subject is motherland, the other topics are mere details,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

The two were scheduled to meet on Jan. 18 following the CHP leader’s call, but the MHP leader harshly criticized the CHP’s protests of the constitutional charter on his Twitter account. 

“Tribunal occupations in the parliament, fighting scenes, games and political discourses, which even have the characteristics of blasphemy and slander, will embarrass those who engage in them,” Bahçeli said Jan. 17. 

Kılıçdaroğlu hinted at a possible meeting as he defended CHP lawmakers’ protests at the parliament, adding that the CHP would continue to oppose the constitutional amendment. 

“They [the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers] did not follow the law. But our lawmakers have fulfilled their duties to warn them each time. Despite the pressure which has come to a point where a lawmaker has lost himself that much to attack a woman lawmaker, we continued our struggle,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

‘Catch Adil Öksüz’

Touching on the arrest of the alleged assassin of the Istanbul nightclub attack early on New Year’s Day, Kılıçdaroğlu also urged police fs to catch Adil Öksüz, one of the prime suspects in the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.

“As our police friends catch the Reina assassin, we are expecting the same for Adil Öksüz. I hope they catch him, too,” Kılıçdaroğlu said Jan. 17, noting that the whereabouts of the only civilian caught at the Akıncı Base, a major center of the attempt, were still unknown. 

Known as the Gülen movement’s “imam of the Air Force,” Öksüz was detained on the morning of July 16 at the Akıncı Military Base. Two days after his detention, he was released on probation due to a lack of evidence for an arrest. He is currently on the run. 

“The killer who perpetrated the Reina attack was captured. We convey our sincere appreciation to our police friends in Istanbul,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 

Abdulkadir Masharipov, who was the main suspect in the mass shooting at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub on Jan. 1, in which 39 people died and 65 were wounded, was captured by Istanbul police late on Jan. 16.