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06/07/2024

Coalition partner Bahçeli calls for cooperation with Syria; Controversial change in education system; Galatasaray is the champion in football

Coalition partner Bahçeli calls for cooperation with Syria; Controversial change in education system; Galatasaray is the champion in football

Last week in Türkiye, the top news was the call for cooperation with the Syrian government against the separatist terrorist organization PKK/YPG, made by Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), coalition partner of the leading AKP.

Another important News was the AKP’s decision to once again change the education curriculum, which has been altered multiple times over the past 22 years of the party’s governance.

And Galatasaray Football Club won its 24th championship in the Turkish Super League.

Bahçeli calls for cooperation with Syria against terrorism

The MHP leader, Devlet Bahçeli made a significant call for cooperation with the Syrian government against the separatist terrorist organization PKK/YPG.

Devlet Bahçeli made the call during his speech at his party’s parliamentary group meeting.

Bahçeli criticized the US for its support to terrorist organizations. In connection with the regional elections planned in the north of Syria with US support, Bahçeli called for cooperation with Damascus. He stated:

“The scriptwriter of the so-called elections is the US and the actors are terrorists. Ankara should build a cooperation with Damascus, and we should absolutely prevent the attempt of the terrorist organization to surround the occupied areas.

The US administration is setting up a new game in northeastern Syria with the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is in fact nothing other than the PKK.”

Bahçeli reminded that the “so-called regional elections” would be held on June 11:

“Taking advantage of the turbulent environment in the Middle East, so-called regional elections will be held on June 11 to determine 133 local administrations, primarily covering Tabqa, Afrin, Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa, Manbij, and Jazira in northeastern Syria. This illegal election initiative means a new stage, a new phase in the division of Syria. The announcement by the Syrian Kurdish National Council that they will not recognize and will boycott these so-called elections should also be addressed.”

Bahçeli criticized US regional policy saying, “It is clear that the US sees its continuous dialogue with terrorists in northeastern Syria, referred to as Rojava by the separatist terrorist organization, as strategically important”.

Bahçeli emphasized that Syria and Türkiye should eliminate the terrorist organization through military operations:

“The separatist terrorist organization must be eradicated through coordinated military operations by Türkiye and Syria in the swamp areas where it originates. There can be no tolerance for treason either domestically or in neighboring regions. We have no choice but to strike at the heart of terrorism like a spear.”

Referring to US support for terrorist organizations, Bahçeli said that Türkiye’s security is at risk:

“It is disgraceful that the US uses terrorism as a political instrument. Türkiye’s strategic partnership and alliance with the US established after World War II is well-known. However, the US support for terrorist organizations in neighboring regions is a severe threat to Türkiye’s security. The US must draw an unbreachable thick line between itself and terrorism. Türkiye is neither a colony nor the 51st state of the US, nor can it ever be. Türkiye has fulfilled all its duties within the NATO mission to date.”

Bahçeli also called on the US to lift sanctions:

“The US has made a scandalous and historical mistake by equating terrorist organizations with Türkiye. This mistake must be urgently corrected, the sanctions on Türkiye must be lifted, and relations between the two countries should be restored to a stable, fair, and honorable basis. The procurement process for the 40 new block F-16 fighter jets that Türkiye has applied to purchase by the end of 2021 and the 79 modernization kits we need for the existing fleets should be accelerated.”

Bahçeli also stated that the US should extradite Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) leader Fethullah Gülen immediately and that US troops should withdraw from Syria and Iraq just as they did from Afghanistan.

Controversial change in education system

The AKP government has announced a controversial reform package for the education system.

The package, called the “Century of Türkiye Education Model” which includes changes in subjects such as mathematics and the theory of evolution, has been approved by Minister of National Education Yusuf Tekin.

The new curriculum, named “Century of Türkiye Education Model” consists of 27 texts totaling 3,234 pages. Of these texts, 26 cover the programs of preschool education and primary and secondary education courses, while one covers preschool education.

Unlike previous implementations, the new curriculum will be phased without a pilot region application. The Ministry announced that the old curriculum had been simplified by 35% to deepen learning. The most important component of the new teaching programs is said to be the “Virtue-Value-Action Model”. The main goal of the model is to reach the ultimate goal which is “peaceful family and society” and “peaceful human beings in a livable environment,” going through the phases of “from actions to values” and “values to virtuous people.”

The changes were criticized by many political parties and unions. Deputy Chairman of the Vatan Party, Prof. Dr. Semih Koray, made comprehensive statements on the matter. Semih Koray stated that what was presented was “not an educational model” but a “reorganization of the existing curriculum” According to Koray “The aim of education is to train students who do not give up in the face of difficulties and who know how to push themselves to overcome them.” Saying that Türkiye has a high educational experiences starting from the very beginning of the Republic, Koray expressed the followings:

“The prerequisite for a correct education policy is the determination of Türkiye’s development strategy and its strategy for progress in the fields of science, art, and culture. At the same time, we need a detailed plan for the implementation of this strategy which should be continuously updated (…) One of Türkiye’s most significant weaknesses today is the lack of such a strategy and plan. National education has largely been left to the spontaneous shaping of markets. Therefore, no matter how much the Ministry of National Education tries to educate students who are loyal to their country and nation, who think of the nation’s interests rather than their own, and who subordinate individual interests to collective interests, success cannot be achieved in the absence of such a strategy and plan. Unfortunately, what has been done by this new reform is not an educational model, but merely a reorganization of the existing curriculum.”

Koray reminded of the “Village Institutes” model that Türkiye had embraced in 1930s and 40s and criticized the content of the new model:

“Türkiye has significant experiences in education. During Atatürk’s era, education was planned with a strategy. That strategy was established by determining what was needed both economically and culturally, intellectually, for the construction of the nation and the development of Türkiye in general. In this respect, the experience of the Village Institutes is an extremely important educational model, not only for Türkiye but on a global scale (…) We should not think the Village Institutes only in economic terms, the essence of the Village Institutes model lies at the Republican Revolution’s a cultural revolution. The aim was to train leaders who would work within production, develop their skills within.”

(…)

Our Ministry of National Education has set a goal in this curriculum to create a national identity, foster a love for the country, and contribute effectively to Türkiye’s future. However, this model lacks merits to achieve such goals.

Koray also evaluated claims about the reduction of lessons related to the Republican Revolution and period in the new system, and the involvement of religious sects and communities in primary and secondary education:

“The involvement of various religious sects in education is extremely wrong. This must be prevented. This is also contrary to the educational goals we previously stated. We want to train people who are loyal to their country and nation, who prioritize the collective interest over individual interest. The empowerment of religious sects would not contribute to this. For Türkiye to educate its human resources, these sects must be kept away from education.”

Galatasaray is the champion in football

Galatasaray became the champion of the 2023-2024 season of the Turkish Süper Lig with a record number of points.

Galatasaray finished the season with 102 points and three points ahead of its biggest rival Fenerbahçe.

With 102 points, Galatasaray set a new record for the highest number of points in a single season in the history of the Turkish Süper Lig. With this 24th championship, Galatasaray maintained its status as the team with the most titles in the league, while Fenerbahçe remained at 19 championships.

This victory also became the second championship for Galatasaray with the management of head coach Okan Buruk.

Galatasaray’s striker Mauro Icardi became the top scorer of the 2023-24 Süper Lig season with 25 goals.

Speaking after the championship match, head coach Okan Buruk said: “We are very happy. It was a difficult environment. (…) As I said last week to Galatasaray fans; prepare the flags. Now we will begin to work for the 25th championship. Get ready for that too. (…) We have an incredible responsibility, but alongside that, we are with a very good group of players. Together with our great Galatasaray fans, our president, our board of directors, we all accomplished something amazing. This is a gift to the Galatasaray fans. They deserve it the most. They have always supported us.”

If Galatasaray wins the championship next season, they will achieve their 25th title and earn the right to add the 5th star to their badge. Galatasaray’s closest rival, Fenerbahçe, has 19 championships and only 3 stars.

United World International

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