Not the Turkey I Expected to Talk About Today

Happy Thanksgiving. If you were expecting an article about poultry, you’ll be disappointed to learn that the fundies are definitely giving us the bird, but not the one you wanted.

Cabbie X brought to my attention a news article about creationism in Turkey. The article is worth examining, because of the warnings it provides freedom-loving Americans.

A lavishly illustrated “Atlas of Creation” is mysteriously turning up at schools and libraries in Turkey, proclaiming that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is the real root of terrorism. […] At first sight, it looks like it could be the work of United States creationists…. But the author’s name, Harun Yahya, reveals the surprise inside. This is Islamic creationism, a richly funded movement based in predominantly Muslim Turkey which has an influence U.S. creationists could only dream of.

Your first reaction might be “Yeah, so what? It’s a Muslim country. That’s what you can expect from a theocracy.” Except remember that Turkey is a republic. As Wikipedia notes:

There is a strong tradition of secularism in Turkey. Even though the state has no official religion nor promotes any, it actively monitors the area between the religions. The constitutional rule that prohibits discrimination on religious grounds is taken very seriously.

Religion is still more tightly knit with their government than it is with ours, but they do make the attempt to keep a certain amount of separation.

With that in mind, let’s read a little more of the news article:

Creationism is so widely accepted here that Turkey placed last in a recent survey of public acceptance of evolution in 34 countries — just behind the United States.

Sort of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? Of the 34 countries surveyed, the U.S. and Turkey were dead last in public acceptance of the fact of evolution. Both countries attempt to keep church and state separate, but they are both so overrun by the ignorant, the deluded, and the fanatical that a large percentage of their populations denies the existence of reality.

The article continues:

Scientists say pious Muslims in the government, which has its roots in political Islam, are trying to push Turkish education away from its traditionally secular approach.

Aykut Kence, biology professor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, said time for discussing evolution had been cut out of class schedules for the eighth grade this year.

“The students will just learn there is a theory called evolution defended by Darwin back in the 19th century,” he said. “However, views of Islamic thinkers from the Middle Ages about evolution and creation have been included.”

Fundie heaven! Ted Haggard is probably creaming in the mouth of a male prostitute just thinking about that!

Here’s some fun facts from Wikipedia:

The demand for restoration of religious education in public schools began in the late 1940s. The government initially responded by authorizing religious instruction in state schools for those students whose parents requested it. Under Democrat Party rule during the 1950s, religious education was made compulsory in secondary schools unless parents made a specific request to have their children excused. Religious education was made compulsory for all primary and secondary school children in 1982.

You might think that the U.S. would never take it that far. That simply allowing prayer at a high school graduation, for example, does not inevitably lead to government-mandated Bible study in public schools. Well, just take a look at everything our fundies are trying to do:

  • Insertion of “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance (they already won that one)
  • Prayer at high school graduations
  • Posting of the Ten Commandments in schools
  • School-sanctioned religious clubs on campus
  • Religious iconography in school holiday displays
  • Banning of Halloween images at school
  • A “moment of silence” every day in schools; but remember, that is just a temporary workaround, because they had previously pushed for…
  • Flat-out daily prayer in the classroom
  • Warning labels on science textbooks
  • “Equal time” for “teaching both sides” of the evolution “debate”
  • Teaching “intelligent design”; but remember, that is just a temporary workaround, because they had previously pushed for…
  • Flat-out teaching of creationism

Those are just the ones I’ve recalled off of the top of my head.

Here’s another fun parallel from the news article:

After the [1980] coup, the conservative government thought a dose of religion could bolster the fight against the extreme left.

That doesn’t sound familiar, does it? Remember, our fundies call Diane Feinstein an extremist!

How about this tasty morsel, from the same article:

In 1985, a paragraph on creationism as an alternative to evolution was added to high school science textbooks and a U.S. book “Scientific Creationism” was translated into Turkish.

Just like Magaret Thatcher’s Britain was a prototype for the Reagan “Revolution”, modern Turkey is looking more and more like a prototype for the coming American Theocratic Revolution. Whip out your prayer rugs! Ayatollah James Dobson has climbed the tower is calling us to prayer.

Here’s more:

In the early 1990s, leading U.S. creationists came to speak at several anti-evolution conferences in Turkey.

Several“ anti-evolution conferences? What is it? A mini-industry over there? And what are these conferences like? What are the optional recreational activities you can sign up for? Golf, tennis, sightseeing? No, I bet everybody signs up for the Mount Ararat trip!

Anyway, this news article is just another example of how religious extremists are the same everywhere. If you don’t want the United States to turn into what Turkey is today, or worse yet, what the other Islamic states have become, we must stop the fundies today. We must stop all of their attempts to impose their will upon the rest of us.

2 Responses to “Not the Turkey I Expected to Talk About Today”

  1. The Watcher Says:

    That is extremely annoying. I’m doing the best I can to help make the fundies lose big time, but it’s not easy! Their illogic boggles the mind!

    There are a couple of points I disagree with you on, however. I’ve long been a proponent of “if you don’t like it, ignore it.” I say it to the fundies all the time every time they try to ban Harry Potter, Desperate Housewives, that book that doesn’t make a value judgement about Cuba, or the latest book that we need to ban. So if this book is just sitting in a school library, I don’t want to get it thrown out. I don’t want to be as bad as the fundies. Teach evolution, yes, but don’t censor the opposition. My stance is not so weak that it will fall under the ridiculous assertions of fundies. So let the kids read it if they want. Chances are, if they’re looking for a book on creationism, we’re never gonna reach them anyway.

    Second, I also agree with school sponsored religious clubs. I’m not so sure about actual cash funding, but I don’t really see the harm in letting students gather and share faith at school. Everything else on your list, though, is pretty spot-on.

  2. FreeThinker Says:

    Thanks for raising awareness of this eerie US/Turkey comparison. I think some of these Turkish traditions are keeping them from EU membership. Let’s hope the EU does not relax their secular standards.