Ataturk is spinning in his grave

Or he would be, if he weren’t an inanimate corpse that had ceased to be. Erdogan is continuing his corruption of Turkish culture, opposing both secularism and — the usual target — the teaching of evolution.

Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish schools, a senior education official has said, in a move likely to raise the ire of the country’s secular opposition.

Alpaslan Durmuş, who chairs the board of education, said evolution was debatable, controversial and too complicated for students.

“We believe that these subjects are beyond their [students] comprehension,” said Durmuş in a video published on the education ministry’s website.

Well, gosh, if we remove everything that is complicated from education, you’ll just end up with simple adults. Simple adults who get everything wrong.

I’m just waiting now for our president to treat this as an inspiration.


  1. robro says

    I’m just waiting now for our president to treat this as an inspiration.

    You don’t have to wait. It’s one reason we have DeVos. The anti-science Idiot-in-Chief clearly appealed to religious wackos who believe they can stick their heads up their asses and make reality go away. So, cut education, cut research…pretty soon we’ll have a nation of even simpler people ready to vote for the latest version of Trump.

  2. says

    To children unburdened with a-priory religious indoctrination, basic principles of of evolution are actually very easy to comprehend.

  3. blf says

    You’ve Named Trump’s Worst! (New York Times edits in {curly braces}):

    It was a hard-fought race, people. But the results of our Worst Trump Cabinet Member reader poll are in.

    And the winner is — Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos!

    With a near tie for second place between Scott Pruitt of the Environmental Protection Agency and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “It’s hard to be worse than Sessions or Pruitt. But DeVos deals with{…} children,” wrote a Michigan reader.


    Let’s be extremely clear that this was not a scientific survey. In fact, it was pretty hard to get any count at all since many readers couldn’t resist the temptation to take the easy route and pick all of the above. (“I’ve seen better cabinets at Ikea.”) Or to name five. Or to complain that selecting one Worst was too hard. (“Trying to pick a winner from this bunch is like trying to knit a sweater with wet spaghetti.”)


  4. oursally says

    If – as could well happen – the orange guy gets impeached or just loses interest, his successor would be a man who would do exactly this if he could.

  5. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    I suppose this is a situation where the half-assed decentralized system in the US is an advantage. Even with DeVos, there will always be places where evolution is taught in the schools.

    But I mourn for Turkey.

  6. davem says

    Turkey is attempting to join the EU, or at least was. They have to pass, I think, some 46 tests for membership. They’d passed only one; the science test. Oops! Back to zero…

  7. rietpluim says

    I’ve never been sure what to think of Ataturk. He turned Turkey into a secular democracy, which is good I guess, but one cannot force a country to be a secular democracy, and what’s happening now may be the backlash we could have expected for decades.

    Lucky for me, I know exactly what to think of Erdogan.

  8. blf says

    Turkey is attempting to join the EU, or at least was.

    Yes. I don’t know what the current situation is, albeit I think it is still as aspiration. I myself previously supported that aspiration, but at the moment, my support is now suspended — Erdoğan is multiple bridges and moats and mazes too far.

  9. Ichthyic says

    what’s happening now may be the backlash we could have expected for decades.


    what is happening is a power hungry authoritarian saw the opportunity with an unstable ME and open civil war between Islamic sects, to ride that to power by demonizing the usual suspects and turning Turkey into another “religious” autocracy.

    it has FUCK ALL to do with a populist backlash to secularism. Turkey was HAPPY with the way they were, until these fuckers deliberately stirred shit for greed.

    so, no I outright reject your entire premise.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Turkish government officially concedes children stupider under Erdoğan: details at eleven all-fingers-&-one-toe.