Turkey will stop teaching evolution in schools, education ministry says

Jul 7, 2017

By  Raf Sanchez

Turkish schoolchildren will no longer be taught about evolution, a government official has said, in another sign of the conservative direction the country is heading in under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Alpaslan Durmus, the head of curriculum for the ministry of education, said that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “controversial” and would be removed from school programmes by 2019.

“We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age unable yet to understand the issues’ scientific background,” Mr Durmus said.

“As the students at ninth grade are not endowed with antecedents to discuss the ‘Origin of Life and Evolution’ section in biology classes, this section will be delayed until undergraduate study.”

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

74 comments on “Turkey will stop teaching evolution in schools, education ministry says

  • That won’t work. The children today are connected and much more aware of the “theories”.
    The internet will have to severely limited in Turkey and it would take decades to stop the
    secular movement in Turkey.

    Report abuse

  • @OP – Alpaslan Durmus, the head of curriculum for the ministry of education, said that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “controversial” and would be removed from school programmes by 2019.

    To the deluded ignorant, all forms of scientific knowledge are “controversial” – and arbitrary!

    It is the view which keeps them deluded and ignorant!

    Science has removed many fears of the unknown, so as fears of the unknown are important tools for promoting woo, the fear has to be preserved by woo-meisters, because it is also what props up the status of the purveyors of pseudo-knowledge and pseudo-answers!

    Report abuse

  • Of course this has nothing to do with biology or evolution by natural selection. This a part of the Turkish ruling class deciding that religion is a useful tool to keep the largely uneducated proles in their bloody place, – back in the dark ages and under the thumb. My guess is that Erdogan is about as religious as Donald Trump, i.e., – not very. I could be wrong, but looking northwards towards Russia, it seems Putin has become quite pally with the Russian Orthodox Church, and he the ex KGB man ! Politics moves in religious ways ?

    Report abuse

  • 7
    maria melo says:

    Oh, didn´t even notice, what is it Laurie?
    (I remember a funny thing from an adult teaching a young child in a museum, saying a gorilla´s skeleton was a primitive man)

    Report abuse

  • Maria

    Good job! I thought that was supposed to be a man, indicating that the evolutionists have it all backwards, according to the creationists. Shows you what I know.

    (My comment about empathy was to Phil.)

    Report abuse

  • 12
    maria melo says:

    I see, “maria” disapeared from that comment, it was not for me.
    And it shows what I knew too (didn´t even guess it was a gibbon, such beautiful way of swinging on thress gibbons have with their elongated arms).

    Report abuse

  • Dan #5
    Jul 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Poor Turkey. Ertegon is a dictator and quite hated. There was an attempt to overthrow him but it failed. Trump cozies up to him.

    Trump also cozies up to the pariahs of Poland!


    Warsaw has rejected EU claims that Poland does not respect the rule of law.

    Faith-head, right wing Poland, stands out against the rest of Europe, with 86 per cent answering “yes” to the poll asking about belief in God!
    (SEE:- “”Coming Out Atheist” thread, pg 245 comment 2)

    Report abuse

  • 19
    maria melo says:

    Olgun on comment 17,

    Hillary Clinton is smart women, with ethical integrity, an intelectual for who human rights are a very important issue ( you seem to consider it a “no-brainy subject” that bores, that´s what I really call “anti-social”, in fact that´s a correct use of the word).
    She got the majority of votes from the american population twice (with Obama too), I respect her as such.
    This seems all fabricated in a wonka fabric for consumers of conspirancy theories (which must be popular), this is not journalism.

    Report abuse

  • Maria

    I have no idea what you just said there? You seem to be mixing two different threads…again?

    I presented some videos that hover around a central theme and asked others to see more videos to make up their minds. No evidence.

    I trust people here to be able to weave their way through this stuff.

    Not sure what you are so upset about?

    Report abuse

  • Hi, Olgun,

    I have no issue with your videos. Just # 17. Presumably, Maria feels that Hillary has been maligned and has grown tired and critical of the barrage of attacks of this kind too. I liked Maria’s comment. I am, I think, reasonably suspicious of the accusations made in that video and of Wikileaks; and I’m sick of YouTube videos and online articles and bloggers in general, with their never-ending opinions and accusations vis-a-vis the Clintons. Last I heard she was running a prostitution ring. Now she’s supporting terrorists. (Didn’t Trump also say that?) That’s all.

    Assange is a libertarian and has had a clear preference for Trump, the worst president in our history, by far. Why any liberal would trust this shadowy, false and most probably nefarious and far-right leaning man just because he claims to be for transparency (which we all want), and who has been obsessively hacking since he was a teenager, is beyond me. I agree with this blogger from “Huffpost”.

    The Wall Street Journal, predictably, ignored the real point of yesterday’s story about the CIA hacking, in their editorial, “Wikileaks’s New Damage,” when they said, “The country [Wikileaks] loathes and wants to bring low is America.”

    Not quite true. That doesn’t square with the fact that Wikileaks, in combination with Putin and we-don’t-yet-know-who on Trump’s staff, got Donald J. Trump elected President. So it’s not true that they “want to bring America low.” No, what they want to bring low is American-style liberal democracy, and particularly the Democratic Party. What they want to see is a strong, plutocratic, paranoid, Republican America, led by a looting family run by an authoritarian demagogue—which, curiously, sounds like Russia.

    Report abuse

  • Having heard a couple of BBC R4 documentaries on this I suspect this collection of material gets closest to the nature of how education has been used politically in Turkey.


    Gulen schools with their emphasis on morals, character building and science, seemed aimed at the upper echelons and perhaps part of the process to get Gulenists into the judiciary and positions of power. Erdogan is appealing to the poor and now leveraging religion far more than Gulen ever was and dumbing down education accordingly (long announced by the way…we had discussion here a while ago.). Erdogan demonises those educated folk ripping off the poor.

    Report abuse

  • Charter Schools with their ability to select input are morally dreadful. Bernie’s support (qualified by Public Charter School) may intend something better than this but perhaps not.

    Report abuse

  • “I believe in public education and I believe in public charter schools. I do not believe in privately controlled charter schools.” (Bernie Sanders)

    “Here’s the contradiction: Charter schools are all public. And, each has some element of private control. Some commentators blasted Sanders for being unclear, confused, or even pandering on the issue.” (nprEd)


    these schools are a cesspool of financial and moral corruption and conflicts of interest. And yes, Sanders may or may not be envisioning something else. I think he is; there are some aspects of Charter Schools that on paper are wholesome and democratic. This article below, however, seems pretty fair and is mostly critical; it focuses on the pernicious religious/cultural aspect.


    In the last decade, religious organizations have flocked to charter schools as a way to get public tax dollars to promote their private agendas. Sometimes, religious schools simply close at the end of the school year and reopen in the fall as public charter schools, hiring many of the same teachers and taking on most of the same students. By law, these schools should be open and accepting of students of any background and be secular in purpose and in practice. Thematic language and cultural instruction are often the secular justifications for these institutions, although cultural preservation for one particular group of students is clearly the intention. A Greek Orthodox community opens a charter school in Brooklyn with a Greek language and culture theme, with a predominantly Greek staff and clientele; a Florida Jewish school reopens as a Hebrew-theme academy that focuses on Jewish history and culture and teaches the Hebrew language, explicitly serving “Jewish communal purposes.”

    Report abuse

  • Thanks, Dan.

    I believe in publicly (state) owned schools, open to all without exception, with an inability to fail like “pizza shops”, an ability to accrue expertise indefinitely, unconstrained by commercial limit and subject to clear national and supplementary state standards, which standards to be tested by those authorities.

    Report abuse

  • Olgun,

    Confession: I never heard of Gulen before today. No idea if he’s good or bad and I’m not really sure, frankly, what the woman in the video is talking about. But I did watch the video, and the woman in the video calls Hillary a thug, and seems to be accusing her of something horrendous, and seems to hate her fucking guts; so in spite of what I just confessed I still stand by my comments, #20 and #23 (and Maria’s, #19).

    Report abuse

  • I have always been pro-Gulen. Compared to what Erdogan is prepared to do, there is no contest.

    Both are divisive though. Too obviously siding with the elites was a shared problem for Gulen and HC. Playing down to the poorest (and least educated) and more obviously lying worked for both Trump and Erdogan.

    Report abuse

  • Dan, Phil, Maria

    I am not an Erdogan fan but…. find myself on his side, like most moderates in Turkey, when it comes to trusting the American deep state and the safety and continuation of Turkey. It has changed from the great plan that included both Erdogan and Gulen, to which one can show greatest support behind them. Its now about regime change and HC was part of it. The great ottoman palace was not newly built without a reason. Erdogan thought he could play, the big players, against each other and brought us to this situation. Erdogan paranoia is real but the fight for supremacy has many a victim of collateral damage. Internal problems, as a result, are on a different agenda. To ask how Turkey has got into this position and not take all this into account is irresponsible and incomplete. Turkey is under threat from the outside and the moderates from the inside. They both have dreams of an ottoman style elitist system and others are keen to be part of that control for their own needs. The moderates are the third party, say, that has no outside backing. We have had a few examples here in the U.K. and the battle going on for control. It’s not just Wikileaks that make claim to some of these accusations. You can stand by your claim all you want Dan but you are running on emotion and without all the facts.

    It is dangerously wrong to put all that is happening on the shoulders of one man. I want Erdogan out and his part in all this is obvious but he has been reacting rather than running to plan for a while now. The gas from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel into Europe is the centre of the maypole.

    Report abuse

  • Sorry about the badly written and punctuates post but hope you can make sense of it all.

    Keenly watching whats happening in Syria. The original route for the gas pipe.

    Report abuse

  • Olgun #33
    Jul 10, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Keenly watching what’s happening in Syria.
    The original route for the gas pipe.

    If Trump and Putin agree on something which is not directly related to undermining rival political parties or governments, it could well be related to gas or oil!


    A ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia has come into force in south-western Syria.

    It was announced after Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin met for the first time at G20 talks on Friday.
    The truce is also backed by Jordan.

    It is in force along a line agreed by Syrian government forces and rebels.

    Russia and the US have backed opposing sides, with Moscow supporting the Damascus government while Washington has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Russian forces and a US-led coalition have been carrying out air strikes in their respective campaigns.

    The ceasefire, which Russia has said covers the regions of Deraa, Quneitra and Sweida, was reported to result from months of undisclosed talks between Russian and US officials.

    Speaking after the meeting between Mr Putin and Mr Trump in the German city of Hamburg, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said:
    “This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”

    Mr Tillerson said Friday’s meeting also showed that the two countries eventual aims for Syria were “exactly the same” – but they differed on how they should be achieved.

    Report abuse

  • Dan

    I am presenting things for discussion and not trying to protect Erdogan. Why Turkey is where it is is the question and has many facets. The secular fight against his religious dictatorship is a result of.

    Gut feelings are more accurate with information.

    Report abuse

  • Hi, Olgun,

    How are you?

    Yes, information is good. Agreed.

    I am presenting things for discussion and trying to defend the reputation of people (HC and Bill Clinton) who I like, who I think are, in spite of some bad decisions and faults, pretty okay in a lot of ways, trying to defend them after hearing a weird and vicious assault from that (may I say repugnant?) woman in your video. “Thugs. A crime family.”

    A couple of questions about Turkey. Americans, by the way, aren’t a whole lot better; it took us years to acknowledge some of our crimes, and some of them are still never spoken of except by people like Chomsky and a handful of others.—But why is Turkey always denying that it massacred the Armenians? Everyone knows they did. I have never met or spoken to anyone from Turkey that has been able to acknowledge that event. And these are Turks living here. And why do the Greeks and the Turks hate each other so much? Maybe they should inter-marry. Same with whites and blacks, Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Jews. Let them all marry each other. Then we won’t have these eternal disputes based on bigotry and/or the Us and Them mentality. Eventually we will all have something of those we hated in us. That’s one solution for what it’s worth.

    Imagine all the people….. Sorry.

    Report abuse

  • I’ll try once again Dan, regardless of the condescending tone of your post!

    I am presenting a ‘no smoke without fire’ discussion and not a word for word evidenced video diary.

    I don’t know much about the Armenian massacres except for a book I read (Birds Without Wings) where the massacres where blamed on the Kurds with the Ottomans turning a blind eye. I have heard others express an opinion but have never studied it. Have you or is that another gut feeling?

    Greeks and Turks have bee mixing for centuries but the hate comes from history which is easy to find.

    Report abuse

  • I was speaking rhetorically about the perennial hatred between the Greeks and Turks, which strikes me as insane; every Greek takes the side of the Greeks and every Turk takes the side of the Turks. So it’s like the Bible vs the Koran. Those on different sides who see only one side must be wrong. They can’t both be right.

    I wasn’t talking down to you; Info good, you mean? Just an attempt at a quip.

    I don’t even know what we are discussing. I didn’t like what that lady said, especially on the eve of the disastrous election here – and that’s that.

    What would you like to say? I like your comments although your knowledge of politics and history far exceeds mine so I don’t get all of it.

    Report abuse

  • Cont.

    Then again, there are cases where one side is entirely right and the other is entirely wrong. (Israel is probably 100 percent wrong, when it comes to the occupation); but I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that people, in general, tend to agree with arguments that favor the side that they are on. And that indicates that loyalty to one’s own country of origin – and that loyalty is all-too-pervasive – is often (but not always) a feeling that supersedes objective consideration and truth.

    Nationalism clouds reason no less than religion. It also clouds perception and empathy (or compassion) along with it.

    …not a word for word evidenced video diary.

    Maybe I’m finally losing it; but what precisely are you attempting to discuss and present but not necessarily prove?

    Some kurds did participate, and they have acknowledged this. But…

    In 1915, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. Though reports vary, most sources agree that there were about 2 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the massacre. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, some 1.5 million of Turkey’s Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide–a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. However, the Turkish government does not acknowledge the enormity or scope of these events. Despite pressure from Armenians and social justice advocates throughout the world, it is still illegal in Turkey to talk about what happened to Armenians during this era.

    Report abuse

  • Olgun #32

    “Turkey is under threat from the outside …”

    Except for the threat of violence from the south, from the proxy war in Syria with a confusing number of warring parties (and even more confusing: who exactly is– temporarily? – fighting whom, and allied to whom, and supported externally by whom?), what else is threatening Turkey from the outside? I’m German, by the way, so a bit closer to the action than some of our transatlantic friends, but I haven’t heard about any other external threats; possibly our media not doing their job – or possibly Turkish (Erdogan) paranoia?

    Report abuse

  • Olgun

    I am sorry if I annoyed, antagonized, or offended you in any way. It was not intentional.

    (I was just curious what you, an enlightened and cultivated man, had to say about the Armenian genocide. I wasn’t singling out Turkey in any way. We massacred the Indians, etc.)

    Report abuse

  • Olgun #45

    Try explaining your angle. I am very aware of the fact that perception creates reality for those with any specific perception. The point probably is, you may have a perception from information you have received from sources that I have no access to. Because our media ignores such sources, for whatever reason (making it close to impossible to understand your perception). For me, the most ignorant (biased, but to be biased one usually has to be ignorant) perpetrator (outside of the Internet “sources” of whom too many are simply outlets for infantile mental diarrhea) of pseudo-news garbage is Fox News. My “nickname” for them has for several years been “The Goebbels Channel”. Your sources, possibly unknown in Germany, may provide some views that need to be discussed. But what is most critical to “know” are the assumptions behind some opinions (and what gets into the news and what not is very much based on opinions). The relevant term here is cognitive dissonance, meaning someone filters out any information not consistent with their assumptions, while exaggerating the importance of information consistent with their assumptions – to put it more bluntly, prejudices. One of us, or more likely both of us, is / are receiving biased information confirming prejudices from very different sources. Let’s compare the sources and probable biases of these sources.

    Report abuse

  • Have Erdogan and the scum of his government respectively movement taken a cue from the Jesuits? You need to “get” people for indoctrination early, and “immunize” them against arguments with dogmas. The totalitarian Stalinists and Nazis recognized this religion-derived mind control very soon (both being pseudo-religions). The longer you can pour mental diarrhea into vulnerable young brains without disturbance, the less they are able to actually think of alternatives outside of their extremely narrow dogma. As with all authoritarian / totalitarian scum “societies”, Erdogan desperately needs to keep his (future) voters moronically ignorant.

    Report abuse

  • GrumpyKraut #50

    Jul 11, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    As with all authoritarian / totalitarian scum “societies”, Erdogan desperately needs to keep his (future) voters moronically ignorant.

    The Goebbels channel will like small potatoes after this new Trump-era Sinclair Broadcasting group starts rolling. Same filth; just broader in reach. And as we descend further into the abyss, as this American nightmare continues, or is allowed to continue, we who are not ignorant will be looking at other countries as the shining beacons of hope that so many here thought this country had epitomized.

    From May 7th, 2016 DAILY KOS

    We have some sad news to report on this evening: It appears likely that the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group will purchase the Tribune stations, several of which have long and storied legacies such as WGN, WPIX, KPLR, WGN America, and KTLA.

    Expect the stations to air the mandatory right-wing propaganda pieces, shows, and specials mandated by the suits at the HQ in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Sinclair is a group well-known for its pro-Trump/GOP shilling.

    Sinclair will acquire Chicago-based Tribune Media’s 42 television stations and other assets, making the largest station owner in the country even bigger

    The combined company will become a TV broadcasting behemoth, owning and operating 233 television stations in 108 markets.

    Sinclair owns and operates stations in 81 markets, including Washington, D.C.; Seattle; St. Louis; Minneapolis; Pittsburgh; and Milwaukee. Its holdings include 54 Fox affiliates, the most of any station group owner.

    Report abuse

  • Nothing about such scum activities reaches the news in Germany (OK, we had the hooligan rampage in Hamburg to keep us distracted – or more to the point longer-term, that Duhnald may be spouting his twitter mental diarrhea to keep serious investigative journalism distracted from the really criminal activities – my mind certainly boggles at such a concept).

    But it seems that a gut-feeling guess of mine was not so wide of the mark: Dubya & Co. were the US’s late twenties, early thirties Weimar Republic. Now, with Duhnald, you have your flat-out Hitler.

    Report abuse

  • Dan #51
    Jul 11, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    The Goebbels channel will like small potatoes after this new Trump-era Sinclair Broadcasting group starts rolling.

    You may have noticed that I frequently link news articles to the BBC or Reuters. That is because I use declared times of postings to seek out the first sources of reports, and (relatively) unbiased reporting.

    Frequently I find links to a BBC article, but with other news agencies citing it and producing their own versions based on it, a hour or so later.

    The BBC is also good at giving actual quotes from politicians or documents, and citing the science journals on which their science articles are based.

    The BBC is sometimes guilty of creating a “false balance”, but that can be fairly easily spotted.

    Report abuse

  • Moderator message

    There is now a blank thread for open discussion, currently accessible from the home page and/or via this link:


    Users are welcome to use it for thoughtful discussion of topics broadly connected with reason and science, for which there are no dedicated threads. (For ease of finding discussions later, we would ask you to use the dedicated threads wherever possible and appropriate.)

    Please note that the Open Thread is NOT for general chat, and that (with the exception of the off-topic rule, which will obviously be interpreted more loosely there) all the site’s existing Terms of Use will also apply there.

    It is provided on a trial basis for now, and we’ll keep it under review.


    The mods

    Report abuse

  • Grumpy

    My hesitation to write my thoughts in full is mainly because it reads like a conspiracy theory and I am not totally sure how it all fits together. I don’t want to spend all my time trying to defend weak points that are only strong in my mind because of my involvement in Cyprus politics. From hearing little snippets by visiting the TRNC reps office (so because we are not recognised and can’t call her a diplomat) and the Turkish embassy in London. We expected the British government to be evasive and unclear but we expected a more direct line from our own (as it were). Little requests, sometimes orders, about our activities. Therefore I decided to give notice of a series of events that help show the general history, as I see them. From the start of the Iraq war and the plan/promises given to Turkey to allow allied planes to take off from there. The end game to solve the Kurdish problem and give power to a Turkey in the region if she showed strong leadership and following. The incident with the Mavi Marmara in the floatila to Palestine after Obama vowed to remove troops without fulfilling the previously mentioned plan for the region and a Turkey. There is a long list of promises from the west that have not bee fulfilled, with one being the easing of embargoes on Turkish Cypriots after the Annan plan referendom, and trust is not running high. For Europe, the biggest problem is gas and a strong and steady Turkey is vital and the west has different ideas as to who can provide that stability regardless of how its own people are treated. Erdogan has the support of half the country but is not the favourite so his paranoia is real to some extent. The secularists offer a more democratic country but it seems a strong Turkey in that sense is not what the west want.

    I could go on and on with my ‘conspiracy’ theory but respect people here to maybe form their own opinion with the seemingly unrelated events I post. We seem to be able to that with history of fifty years or more ago but not with the present. No one seems willing to call it?

    Report abuse

  • Thanks Ollie, those were helpful.

    Do you have any feelings about this guy yourself? From the other bits I’ve read about him he really does seem virtuous enough but not competent enough. He needs a crack team of two others….

    Report abuse

  • Someone tell me why everyone is always massacring and brutalizing the poor Kurds

    In March of 1988, Iranian troops and Kurdish guerrillas took control of the Iraqi military base in Halabja. Two days later, the Iraqi Air Force fired rockets and napalm into Halabja’s residential areas followed by a poison gas attack. Some 3,000-5,000 innocent civilian Kurds, mostly women and children, were killed and 10,000 or more severely injured. The Kurdish genocide was the most brutal gas attack since poison gas was outlawed after World War I.

    In Iraq in 1970, after almost a decade of fighting, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Mustafa Barzani, reached an agreement with Baghdad on autonomy for Kurdistan and political representation in the Baghdad government. By 1974, key parts of the agreement were not fulfilled, leading to another outbreak of hostilities. By the end of the 1970’s, 600 villages were destroyed and 200,000 Kurds were forcibly resettled to other parts of Iraq.

    Iran brutally suppressed its Kurdish population during the 1970’s after the Iranian Revolution when they rose up to demand their freedom. Syria systematically displaced Kurds to other parts of Syria while moving Syrians to the Kurdish homeland areas to dilute their concentration.

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Olgun can probably offer some useful comment on this [Gulen]. -Alan

    Never heard of the dude or his movement till recently. I could ask Olgun, but according to a video he posted he’s some kind of terrorist in league with Hillary and Satan – in that order. And Olgun said he read a novel that blames the kurds for the Armenian genocide.

    The Kurds didn’t kill the Armenians. That was the Ottoman Government. They have a history of massacring people, apparently.

    The Armenian Genocide (Armenian: Հայոց ցեղասպանություն, Hayots tseghaspanutyun), also known as the Armenian Holocaust, was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Ottoman citizens within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders from Constantinople to the region of Ankara, the majority of whom were eventually murdered. The genocide was carried out during and after World War I and implemented in two phases: the wholesale killing of the able-bodied male population through massacre and subjection of army conscripts to forced labour, followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre. Other indigenous and Christian ethnic groups such as the Assyrians and the Ottoman Greeks were similarly targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government in the Assyrian genocide and the Greek genocide, and their treatment is considered by some historians to be part of the same genocidal policy. Most Armenian diaspora communities around the world came into being as a direct result of the genocide. [Wikipedia]

    Report abuse

  • Remark:

    I know very little about Turkey and the Kurds. Maybe the Kurds are horrible, but no one deserves to be slaughtered, and it just seems like the Kurds are always being persecuted and killed. Hussein gassed them too. Forgot to mention that.

    I do know this: the Ottoman government massacred the Armenians and that was a crime against humanity, and the Turkish govt. has never owned up to it. Until they do one can only assume that such an atrocity is all the more likely to happen again. That I can say with great confidence.

    I have nothing more to add. I don’t know who is worse, the current dictator or that guy with the beard; I think Erdogan is probably worse. Maybe.

    Report abuse

  • Phil

    I am a sucker for the politicaly virtuous. He is soft spoken and measured. He says all the right things for a secular society. Don’t know how competent he is. I am confused about competence because I don’t understand what is required when intent is iffy. Is E competent? Was Ataturk competent to set up a system of democracy even though he could be said to have been a dictator? Is Gulen competent when I know for a fact that his system stops a third of a woman’s wages (a third in this case. More in others) in cash, to go back to his organisation? Is Erdogan competent though he wants to turn the clock back? The , perceived or not, threat from the EU and America has Turkish people of all kinds confused as well.


    You are now putting words into my mouth. I said I didn’t know much about the Armenian situation and gave n account of all I know as an incidental. I then stopped. You seem to spend most of your time here commenting on stuff you don’t know about with conviction only to end with a string of apologies for getting it all wrong. Never mind the subject, it is the same over and over again. I have planed about the video but again, true to type, you ignore what is said and go off on some distorted journey of your own. Even if you do admit to being wrong you change back again without a pause. Now try sticking to the subject and listening to what’s actually being said rather than trying to demonise me with a ad hominem attack. You can be a sneaky poster. I didn’t like what you did to Steve by inviting him on and pretending you didn’t know him and leaving him to take all the flack. Not nice and disrespectful to all on this site.

    My last words to you.

    Report abuse

  • Mod message

    This could easily escalate and we don’t want the comments to become too personal, so we’ll ask Olgun and Dan not to continue this argument. Thank you.

    We will just add, though, as a general point, that on a site dedicated to reason and science, it is reasonable to expect users to post in proportion to their degree of knowledge and understanding of the subjects under discussion. We’re so grateful to the users who add real value to the discussions by sharing their knowledge and insight: so often you help create a real learning resource. That’s not to say users who know less about a particular subject don’t also have an important role to play: asking questions and seeking clarification, and/or making it clear that their own contributions are based on limited knowledge and then being open to further input. But it should go without saying that it’s not rational, or respectful to other users, to make and defend strong statements about things based on nothing stronger than mood and emotions. The aim here should always be for informed, substantiated discussion.

    Report abuse

  • My own position on the horrific Armenian killings – which happened at a time of war – is that the term ‘genocide’ implies state sponsored annihilation, rather than possible random hate-filled actions between the two peoples. Is there actual evidence for this sponsorship claim. Until now I didn’t think there was. However the following link suggests it has been uncovered:


    And book:


    Report abuse

  • 67
    maria melo says:

    To the Mods,

    You need to agree that justice/injustice, or human rights (the desire of being treated fairly, empathy or lack of empathy) only make sense if we don´t despite emotions, however, emotions can be observed/thought from a scientific perspective, emotions are still emotions (or different emotions), how could one change that?
    (Can you please delete my previous comment? Thanks).

    Report abuse

  • Olgun

    No escalation, just a simple reply to this accusation. I am obligated to reply to an ad hominem, I think. Then that will be that.

    I didn’t like what you did to Steve by inviting him on…

    Steve??? The guy from…where was it? Malaysia, yes. He taught Wittgenstein. I loved him. I have no idea what you’re talking about. Sounds like a bizarre ad hominem. I met the guy on the site, if it’s the same Steve I’m thinking of. Then he left and came back a year or two later. Left again, unfortunately, as he thought that many of the site users were anti Islam.

    This is how wars – large and small – get started. The mods are right. Well I said my piece.

    I wish you well, Olgun. Misunderstandings occur all too easily in forums like this. The site is a big umbrella and we can both enjoy it. Feel free to talk to me if you ever change your mind.

    Report abuse

  • @ Olgun #58

    Am I correct in assuming that you are a Turkish, i.e. north-eastern Cypriot? I vaguely remember the mess in Cyprus in 1974 which was instigated by the then still reigning military Junta in Greece, which collapsed shortly thereafter. Not a place, to my mind, where Erdogan and his lackeys are going to improve conditions in the slightest. Now the Junta is in Turkey.

    Report abuse

  • Grumpy

    I like to call myself a TurkishCypriot and distinct from mainland Turks although…..which part I am distinct from is up for discussion. The ‘Cypriot’ thing started on the year of my birth, 1960, and lasted just three years at a point known as ‘Bloody Noel’, Dec 1960. That is when it started to really effect me and my family, and all the TurkishCypriots on the island. 1974 was the straw that broke the camels back.

    Erdogan is not necessarily wanted but Turkey IS by the vast majority. These percentages change as the reasons do. Turkey is only interested in the gas and power in the region and Erdogan is only interested in controlling the gas and more power in the region. I have inside information that says Turkey was willing to give up almost everything that were/are red lines to the TC people in order to get a deal at Crans Montana talks but still the GCs said NO and the talks failed. The GCs would have got nearly all they wanted but still said no. Why? In some circles, Russia is being blamed.

    Report abuse

  • Olgun

    The main problem appears to be that Turkey still wants to retain an armed force presence on the island to ensure the security of the Turkish population, and naturally the Greek side is objecting to this.

    From Euronews link:


    ‘In Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said his country would maintain a constructive stance, adding that the Greek side had not done so. “Of course, what is indispensable for us is that no matter what result is obtained or what topic is agreed upon, security and the issue of guarantees are vitally important (to ensure) that past troubles are not repeated, and easing up on these is out of the question,” Yildirim said’.

    Report abuse

  • Erol

    The fact is that it is the TC people who want the guarantees. People keep talking about Turkey, and over our heads, because it suits every nation avoid the difficult question of TC rights. All our questions are answered by blaming Turkey and UN resolutions which are on the back of bad, if not illegal, resolutions of old.

    Here is an account by a Greek reporter on the failed of the talks.


    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.