Turkey's Opposition Pushes Against Scrapping Ataturk-Era Student Oath
Sumaira FH 26 days ago Thu 18th March 2021 | 12:44 AM
Turkey's key opposition forces on Wednesday stood up against the State Council's decision to stop the daily Ataturk-era student oath from being recited in schools
ANKARA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th March, 2021) Turkey's key opposition forces on Wednesday stood up against the State Council's decision to stop the daily Ataturk-era student oath from being recited in schools.
The mandatory oath was introduced in schools back in 1933. In light of attempts to settle the Kurdish issue a century later, the oath which contains words "How happy is the one who says 'I am a Turk!'" was abolished on the initiative of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). After the peace process with the Kurds collapsed, the State Council backtracked on the move in 2018, but the education ministry challenged the decision.
Earlier in the week, media reported that the council had granted the ministry's complaint and canceled its decision to revive the oath. Reports also say about a decision to remove the profile of Turkish founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from state awards. The government has yet to comment on this.
But Ataturk is Turkey, it is our independence, national honor and pride. No one will erase Ataturk from the heart and mentality of the Turkish people. The government needs to understand this and stop getting on the nerves of the people," the spokesman for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Faik Oztrak, said.
The leader of the nationalist Good Party echoed the CHP reaction.
"The oath is the sacred memory of our fathers, it is in our hearts, in our will. 'How happy is the one who says 'I am a Turk!'" The oath must be recited in our schools," Meral Aksener told the parliament.
The far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is in an alliance with the ruling AKP, joined the criticism.
"The decision to cancel the student oath shows that the State Council does not like to say 'I am a Turk,' and this is very disappointing. This is a scandalous decision that contradicts national values," MHP chair Devlet Bahceli said.
He warned against dragging the country into turmoil and polarizing society with this decision.