Evolution education under attack in Turkey

01.20.2017

A draft of a new national curriculum in Turkey omits evolution, according to soL international (January 15, 2017). A unit entitled "The Origin of Life and Evolution" will be replaced with a unit entitled "Living Beings and the Environment." The final decision on the curriculum is expected in February 2017.

"[T]he Minister of National Education, İsmet Yılmaz[,] said that the draft is open for feedback ... and the Evolution Theory is not an exception," soL International reported, adding, "Yılmaz claimed that 'whether it is scientific, merely a hypothesis, or just theoretical, all these are debatable.'"

The teaching of evolution has been periodically contentious in Turkey, owing in part to the efforts of Islamic fundamentalist groups and politicians. Perhaps as a result, Turkey enjoys the lowest rate of acceptance of evolution in the developed world, according (subscription required) to a 2005 study published in Science.