Ottoman language and writing teaching plan brings reactions in Turkey

Ottoman language and writing teaching plan brings reactions in Turkey

Ankara, December 8, 2014 / Independent Balkan News Agency

“They are turning Turkey into a medieval country”, says the opposition

“Some are allergic to the Ottoman language”, answers Davutoglu

By Manolis Kostidis

Major discussions and reactions has caused in Turkey the government’s plan to integrate in the educational programmes the Οttoman language and writing.

The issue arose after the proposals in the Education Council held in Antalya, where the said proposals were made in order to join the educational program of the new year. According to the final proposal, the Ottoman language will be taught optionally, while in all religious schools its teaching will be mandatory.

The basic argument of the rapporteurs of the proposal was that “young people cannot read important documents of the Ottoman Empire, even what it written on the tombs of their ancestors”

The reaction of the opposition was immediate, accusing the Davutoglu government that it is moving away from the principles of Kemalism. “These are efforts to return to the past. They put education on the wrong track. They want to turn Turkey into a country of the Middle Ages”, said the president of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

It did not take much for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respond saying that “whatever they say the Ottoman be taught. For 200 years they tried to cut us off from our roots”.

The Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu argued that “some in Turkey are allergic to the Ottoman language. They think that we are talking about a foreign language. It is turkish we are talking about”.

The dispute over the Ottoman language essentially hides many issues from the past. In 1928 the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had abolished the Arabic alphabet and had imposed the Latin script, while at the same time he founded the Turkish Language Institute. So gradually the ottoman words were abolished and in their place were imposed new turkish ones. This change was considered an attempt to cut Turkey from its Ottoman past.

Kemal Ataturk had also imposed the turkish language in the prayer in the mosque and had abolished the reading of the Koran in Arabic. This decision was abolished in the 50s.