sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

The number of mosques in Turkey is estimated at around 90,000, or one mosque per 866 people.

Pillars of Turkey's Islamization: Schools, Mosques, and Prisons
by Burak Bekdil
Originally published under the title "Turkey: Land of Mosques, Prisons and the Uneducated."

One way the rise of Islamist authoritarianism in a country can be seen is by the rise in the number of mosques, religious schools and prisons -- coupled with a sharp decline in the quality of education. Turkey is no exception.

Most recently, the Turkish government said that it wouldbuild 174 new prisons, increasing capacity by 100,000 convicts. This is Turkey's reply to complaints that six convicts must share a cell built for three. Convicts say they must sleep in turns in their bunk beds.

Before that, Turkey's government released nearly 40,000 convicted criminals, in order to make space for tens of thousands of suspects, including journalists, businessmen and academics, detained after the failed coup of July 15.
The other type of trendy building in Turkey is the mosque. Turkey's state-funded Directorate for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has proudly announced that nearly 9,000 new mosques were built across the country between 2005 and 2015.

Turkey has roughly twice as many mosques per capita as Iran.

The number of mosques in Turkey is estimated at around 90,000, or one mosque per 866 people. Iran, with a similar population to Turkey's [nearly 78 million] boasts just 48,000 mosques. In other words, Turkey has twice as many mosques as the Islamic Republic of Iran, for roughly the same population. Egypt, which has a population -- nearly 90 million -- bigger than Turkey's, has 67,000 mosques.

Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has not only been building mosques and prisons to further Islamize the country. He has also passionately been building religious schools [from which he once graduated]. He boasts that during his term as prime minister and president (since November 2002), the number of students enrolled at religious schools, officially called "imam schools," has risen from 60,000 to more than 1.2 million -- a 20-fold increase. 

In his study, "The Islamization of Turkey: Erdogan's Education Reforms," Svante E. Cornell wrote that:

The growing efforts at Islamization of Turkish society have largely gone unnoticed. For many years, Islamization was the dog that did not bark: in spite of dire predictions by secularists, the [ruling] AKP did not introduce conspicuous efforts to Islamize Turkey. But since 2011, this has changed. The main exhibit is the education sector, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has remodeled to instill considerably more Islamic content, in line with his stated purpose to raise "pious generations". Ultimately, the Islamic overhaul of the education system is bound to have implications for Turkey's civilizational identity, and on the choices it will make on where it belongs politically.

In 2012, Erdogan's government introduced a contentious 12-year compulsory education system, paving the way for religious middle schools.


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