Turkey is on its path to completely get rid of Ataturkism from its ideology and political framework, a fundamental bloc of Turkish identity. Ataturkism has played a key role in the development of modern Turkey and creating the right amount of balance that a traditional society needs to delve away from extremist leanings. The school curriculum, for the longest time, has been following this pattern. This not only extends to social sciences but also religious studies.

However, a pro-government conservative education union, Egitim Bir-Sen, has been lobbying for the removal of Ataturkism from the national narrative and curriculum. They believe that it influences the masses away from traditions and religious philosophy, and makes the society less practicing when it comes to religion. While that may be true, it also protected society from radicalisation and made sure one’s version of religion was not imposed on any other minority or sect.

Their efforts have finally resulted in a drastic change in curriculum. Darwin’s theory of evolution has been purged from the school syllabus to be replaced by the study of Jihad. Religious holidays will now be observed diligently, which wasn’t the case earlier. The Turkish Science Institute has also prohibited the publication of any material related to evolution. Positivism and secularism will now be categorised as ‘problems of faith’.

A society that has been an example for struggling religious states, is now turning towards regressive policies and will soon be seeing a drastic identity crisis. While the observation of religious beliefs is a private matter, enforcing it becomes a problem, especially when it is done at the cost of true scientific knowledge.

Ataturkianism was always flawed. It created a stable and smart national identity, but imposed it onto the Turkish people. This imposition was a fault line that was bound to result in a reaction. If one identity can be imposed on people, another can be too – and this one may be far less inclusive.