Turkey's new school curriculum drops evolution and will teach concept of jihad
Education minister says 'the real meaning of jihad is loving your nation'
Turkey's new school curriculum drops Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and adds the concept of jihad as patriotic in spirit.
The move has fuelled fears President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is subverting the republic's secular foundations.
The chairman of a teachers' union has described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey's schools and an attempt to avoid raising "generations who ask questions".
A member of the opposition Republican People's Party, Mustafa Balbay, said any suggestion the theory was beyond their understanding was an insult to high school students.
"You go and give an 18-year old student the right to elect and be elected, but don't give him the right to learn about the theory of evolution...This is being close minded and ignorant."
The theory of evolution is rejected by both Christian and Muslim creationists, who believe God created the world as described in the Bible and the Koran, making the universe and all living things in six days. Mr Erdogan, accused by critics of crushing democratic freedoms with tens of thousands of arrests and a clampdown on media since a failed coup last July, has in the past spoken of raising a "pious generation".
The curriculum, effective from the start of the 2017-2018 school year, also obliges Turkey's growing number of "Imam Hatip" religious schools to teach the concept of jihad as patriotic in spirit.