The move has been branded by critics as another sign of the government pursuing an Islamist agenda in Turkey
EVOLUTION will no longer be taught in Turkish schools after being described as a “controversial theory” by the government.
Turkey’s education minister Alpaslan Durmus said Charles Darwin’s theory that all species evolved from simple life forms about three billion years ago was “debatable” and “too complicated for students”.
The new changes in the curriculum were personally approved by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said.
Durmus said: “We have excluded controversial subjects for students too young to understand the issues’ scientific background.”
“As the students at ninth grade are not endowed with antecedents to discuss the ‘Origin of Life and Evolution’ section in biology classes, this section will be delayed until undergraduate study.”
Schoolkids in the country will instead be taught that humans were created by God some 10,000 years ago.
The curriculum is being simplified in a bid to educate children in line with “local and national values”, Durmu told a conference in Ankara.
The move has prompted sharp criticism from academics, who have branded it as another sign of the government pursuing an Islamist agenda in Turkey.
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The only other country to ban evolution theory from schools was Saudi Arabia.
US-based Turkish professor Mustafa Akyol said: “Since the early 2000s, religious conservatives have had the upper hand in Turkey, and their distaste for the theory of evolution is well established.
“Many of them see the theory as corrosive to religious faith and want to ‘protect’ young generations from such ‘harmful’ ideas.”
It comes after the Turkish president changed the constitution earlier this year to give himself vastly increased powers.
He has been accused of undermining Turkey’s democratic and secular foundations in favour of his autocratic and religious agenda – imposing restrictions on alcohol, building new mosques and reintroducing state religious education.
More than 50,000 people have been arrested since a failed coup against the President Erdogan in July last year.
Critics have cast doubt on whether the coup ever happened, and is being used to justify a crackdown on dissent.
What will they teach kids in Turkey?
The controversial changes which will see evolution being removed from the curriculum from 2019.
Schoolkids in Turkey will instead be taught that humans were created by God some 10,000 years ago.
The Quran – like the Bible – teaches that Adam and Eve were the first humans.
God is said to have created Adam from clay and then Eve from Adam.
It is a stark contract to the teaching of evolution which has been much less controversial in most other parts of the world.
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