A Critical Review of Religious Education Policies and Practices of Turkey from the Perspective of Inclusion

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Şahin İ., Kesik F.

EDUCATION AS CHANGE, vol.23, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 23
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.25159/1947-9417/3456
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: religious education, compulsory and optional religious education courses, Imam Hatip schools, inclusion, CITIZENSHIP, DIFFERENCE, TEXTBOOKS, POLITICS, STATE, ISLAM
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This study presents a critical review of religious education policies and practices from the perspective of inclusion. In this sense, it raises the problematics of compulsory and optional religious education courses and Imam Hatip schools, which have an important place in state-religion relationships in Turkey as an inclusive education issue. Considering the education policies and practices that emerged as a result of these policies, it can be argued that no matter how objective, democratic, pluralistic and thus inclusive the discourses the authorities and governments used were, from the very beginning, they did not manage to be independent of any ideology and included exclusive practices in differing aspects. Accordingly, what is expected from the Turkish education system is to embrace an inclusive approach that encourages the representation of all religious groups and atheists and to prioritise "students," not ideologies.