Teaching evolution in Turkey

American Physical Society

Writing in APS News (June 2013), Zehra Sayers and Zuhal Özcan address the state of evolution education in Turkey — and the news is not good. "[C]overage of evolution in curricula is influenced strongly by national political trends" in the country, they explain: "as populist religious rhetoric in the political scene became stronger, evolution was relegated to science and biology curricula and at the same time instruction became unsystematic and superficial; textbooks' treatment of evolution became ambiguous and less assertive."

"It is not only high school education that is affected," Sayers and Özcan explain. "There are no universities in Turkey offering undergraduate or graduate degrees in evolutionary biology or in related fields, and even courses in the area are hard to come by." They add, "There is plenty more to ensure that the picture is truly bleak: the circulation of glossy anti-evolution books in the country and abroad ... , the organization of anti-evolutionary symposia ... , and the banning of student-organized discussion panels on evolution in some universities."