Mon Dec 8, 2014

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to make teaching of Ottoman language compulsory in high schools.

Speaking at a religious council meeting in the capital, Ankara, on Monday, Erdogan underscored the necessity of Ottoman lessons as a way to restore Turkey’s severed ties with its “roots,” noting that the majority of Turkish people are unable to read the tombstones of their ancestors.

“There are those who do not want this to be taught. This is a great danger. Whether they like it or not, the Ottoman language will be learnt and taught in this country,” Erdogan stated.

At the weekend, Turkey’s National Education Council, mainly composed of members backed by the Erdogan administration, voted in favor of making Ottoman classes compulsory at religious high schools and an option at regular high schools.

Ottoman Turkish was used as the administrative language of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire. In 1928, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, abolished the Ottoman language and replaced its alphabet with a Latin one.

Erdogan described the abolition of Ottoman language as cutting Turkey’s “jugular veins,” saying, “It is a disaster that this nation, which had superior scientific qualities, has lost its wisdom.”

The Turkish president expressed regret over the fact that Ottoman language can be studied in Germany, while “unfortunately this isn’t the case here (Turkey).”

Critics say the new plan is aimed at rolling back Ataturk’s secular reforms.

Opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, warned that such measures seek to prevent children from “questioning the world.”

“They want to turn Turkey into a medieval country, but they will never succeed.”

Supporters of the plan, however, argue that compulsory Ottoman language lessons are necessary for the Turkish nation to maintain its links to the past after Ataturk’s radical reforms.

Source: PressTV.