Once the champion of individual freedoms, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is now pushing an ultra-conservative and Islamist agenda, as party officials feel their public support is strong enough to transform the country.
Last week’s National Education Council and the subsequent debate over the education system, as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech earlier this week at the Fifth Religion Council, are clear examples of what the AKP will offer citizens in the general elections next June.
Although the debate has mostly stuck on whether the Ottoman language should be a compulsory lesson in high schools, Erdoğan’s speech was about much more than that.
“We are going beyond the banalities taught to us for 200 years. We are finally asking the right questions,” the president said, referring to the Tanzimat reform era in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, the first attempts of Westernization in…
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