"Optimism, trust and curiosity build peace, inspire deeper learning and empower youths" superimposed on picture of pink and white daisies

Culturally Responsive Pedagogy: Shaping Diverse Lives

Our social and cultural backgrounds shape our lives and can deeply and personally influence how we behave and treat others. Possibly one of the most difficult challenges many teachers face is recognizing the power dynamics between themselves and their students, as well as between the students themselves. Having grown up in an education system in which I was a minority and faced discrimination, this aspect took a central role during my time leading the classroom later in my life. Complete Article HERE

Drawing of 2 children playing video game together

UN Workshops Help Students Design Course Curriculum Through Online Games

A UN research institute has begun a series of workshops to offer a platform to children, ages 14-17, using digital games to design their own curriculum. By using game elements, students are learning about climate change, gender roles, economic equality and more. The program, where participants access a digital platform utilizing artificial intelligence, is available to students in both private and public schools.   Complete Article HERE

Women, seated in picture at conference

Education Key to Eradicate Violence Against Women in Yucatán

“Education for Peace, Transformation of Conflicts, Breaking the Cycles of Violence,” was the topic of a recent workshop held by the government-sponsored Women’s Secretariat (SEMUJERES). “Through proper training and strengthening of tools for people working to eradicate violence against women, the Government of Yucatán complies with the tenets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said the head of the General Secretariat of Government (SGG), María Fritz Sierra.    Complete Article HERE

Sikkuy_ Image-Arab Citizens of Israel

IMPACT-se Review of Sikkuy Report: “Representation of Arab Society in Educational Materials of Jewish Israeli Schools”

The Israeli NGO, Sikkuy, has published a brief report in Hebrew, Arabic and English on the depiction of Israeli Arab citizens in the textbooks used by Jewish Israeli schools.

IMPACT-se welcomes many of Sikkuy’s policy recommendations, including the need for more representation of Israeli Arabs/Palestinians in the Israeli Hebrew curricula.

The report is highly limited in scope, depth, and comparative perspective, based on only eighteen elementary and junior high school textbooks.

This is, as Sikkuy states, a report based on samples from textbooks covering just five subjects: Hebrew language, mathematics, science, English and homeland/geography. There are many hundreds of textbooks in the Israel curricula. Despite the apparently serious policy recommendations that are made, this limited research cannot be characterized as an empirical study. As such, much more research is required.

That said, we agree that Israeli Arabs (and other underrepresented groups) should as a rule be represented more fully and positively. The public conversation on this issue must lead to a clearer policy from the Ministry of Education.

   Why an IMPACT-se Review?

IMPACT-se’s methodological standards derive from UNESCO and UN declarations, recommendations and documents on education for peace and tolerance. Our approach is designed to take into account every detail within the textbooks; it does not paraphrase, rely on interpretations, or attempt to illustrate preconceived notions. IMPACT’s studies encompass many curricula across the region and beyond.

   Main Positives from Sikkuy Report

  • Arab cities and villages appear on Israel maps. Palestinian-controlled areas (West Bank, Gaza) appear on maps. (Sikkuy Hebrew report; English report says no Arab cities and villages appear on Israel maps.)
  • Islam and Ramadan are stressed in the teaching of the lunar calendar. (Sikkuy Hebrew report; there is no mention of this in the English report.)
  • The homeland/geography textbooks include discussion of Arab society in the context of subjects studied; for example: texts about Arab families in the Galilee and the Negev, mention of a visit to a Bedouin community as part of a trip.
  • There are texts covering evident differences among Jewish and Arab children.
  • A short explanation on the citizens of Israel as a Jewish majority and an Arab and Druze minority are mentioned.

In high school books, there are far more examples, explanations and lessons on the Palestinian “Other,” often discussed in some depth. —IMPACT-se

  • In texts for the study of Hebrew, sciences, mathematics and English, no Arab images or Arab places were included among hundreds of illustrations and photographs, names, and citations from sources.

These representations do appear in other subjects/grades including: civics, geography, history, Israel studies, Israel thought, Jewish-Israeli culture and others. —IMPACTse

  • There is a need to expand, improve, and add depth to the representation of Arab society, but certain geography textbooks can certainly provide a preliminary model as part of the efforts toward change. Jewish students in Israel need up-to-date, authentic and complex representations of Arab society to help prepare them for life in a country in which both Jewish and Arab citizens are living.

   Sikkuy Report Samples of Arab Exclusions

The report focuses on one Hebrew language textbook, which covers Jewish holidays and events with no mention of the Arab holidays. (Yet Arab holidays are clearly taught in other textbooks. —IMPACT-se.)

The report is critical about the way in which Arab locations are represented on maps; the few math textbooks examined depicted travel between various towns in Israel though not one of them included a destination that was clearly Arab in character.

In a warning about picking wild plants, there is no mention that these plants are used in the Arab kitchen, as a part of the Arab culture. (Sikkuy Hebrew report; no mention of this in English report.)

In another text there were two passages with statistics about Jewish society in Israel, with no mention of Arab society. (Sikkuy Hebrew report; no mention of this in English report.)

Texts for the study of English also serve the Arab school system and hence the instructions in these books are written in both Hebrew and Arabic, but neither includes images of Arabs or Arab places. (These are included in high school textbooks —IMPACT-se.) 

   Sikkuy Policy Recommendations

  • Formulating detailed guidelines: Determine the manner in which Arab society and other groups are assured an “appropriate” presence in texts, illustrations, and photographs. Address the quantitative dimension of representation for Arab citizens (20 percent of examples to equal the approximate Arab population of Israel!).
  • Creating an approval and enforcement mechanism: Written guidelines should be formulated and published by the Ministry of Education director-general and should include a mechanism for approving textbooks and associated learning materials. The approving parties (a committee or lectors) should function according to clear criteria for approval or non-approval of instructional materials. An enforcement mechanism should be constituted that can intervene as may be required, to prohibit the use of “inappropriate” content.
  • Systemic/declarative backing: The Ministry of Education—apart from formulating concrete policy tools—must make a clear and unequivocal public statement to provide backing for these changes.
  • Developing awareness and raising consciousness: The Ministry of Education should create a formula to enable certification by the Standards Institute of Israel (SII) for learning materials that successfully meet the criteria.
  • Establishing an advisory body for the process and formulation of guidelines: The Ministry of Education should establish an advisory body to oversee the processes detailed above and to provide oversight for implementation. This is critical to ensure the sustainability of the policy and its assimilation over time.

   Critique of Sikkuy Report

  • The report is based on a very narrow sample: eighteen lower-grade books were selected from many hundreds of potential books covering grades 1–12. Thus it is not an empirical study.
  • IMPACT-se’s multiple reports over many years covering a far wider range of Israeli textbooks of all grades and subjects shows discussion of Arab presence in Israel before 1948, expression of the development of a national Palestinian identity and varied aspects of the Palestinian narrative, rationale and experience, including Palestinian suffering.
  • Maps recognize Palestinian physical presence in the area, including major Palestinian cities and other forms of Palestinian geographical presence.
  • IMPACT-se points out that the lack of consistency in the way Palestinians are represented geographically must be quickly addressed by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
  • Clearly, Israeli textbooks do not include messages of incitement or stereotypes against Arabs or Palestinians; Israeli textbooks explain the complexities and political disagreements within Israeli society but maintain a clear message of tolerance and coexistence in regard to Arab and Muslim minorities, and toward Arab Israeli citizens in particular. Textbooks include respectful representation of Arab and Muslim culture and heritage, including direct and personal narratives of Arab and Muslim minorities in Israel. Political peace is portrayed as the ultimate goal and is depicted as highly desirable and achievable, while war as a negative though sometimes necessary occurrence. (For further insight, see IMPACT-se Reports)
  • The only real issue remaining then is that of quantitative parity between the 20 percent Arab Israeli population and the insistence by Sikkuy to include an equal amount of Arab-related information in the Israeli curriculum. One assumes that Sikkuy considers this to be equitable to the Arab Israeli population. Where, then would such a policy stop? Would we also need to provide equivalent parity to all the other minority populations, both ethnic and religious within Israel? There certainly should be positive portrayals of all groups in Israeli society throughout the curriculum. But the assumption made by Sikkuy that Israeli and Arab students have no knowledge or understanding of the Other, because there is not enough information in their textbooks, is simplistic and somewhat illogical.


We support Sikkuy’s call for inclusivity, joint activities, and respect for diversity among the various segments of Israeli society. Additional representation of Israeli Arabs presumably could enable them to more fully take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the State of Israel. More translations from Arabic and other regional languages, including those of repressed minorities in the region is certainly an issue that must be addressed. Israel can certainly do more to integrate culturally with the surrounding region.

IMPACT-se certainly agrees that the Israeli curricula in their many forms need to continue evolving. More can and should be done on various levels to create integrated environments of inclusion for all segments of society, including its diversified Arab Israeli population. IMPACT for its part will continue to support those positive efforts, while criticizing those which lead children away from peace, tolerance and recognition of the Other.

Though not the place to elaborate on comparative issues, our research has shown Israel to be above the curve among advanced countries in allowing and recognizing minority expression. Still, we recognize there is always room for improvement.

IMPACT-se Review (pdf)

Sikkuy English Report (pdf)

Sikkuy Hebrew Report (pdf)

pic of LGBT Primary School Protest

UK Education Secretary Emphasizes Need for Diverse Relationships and Sex Education in UK Schools Amid Protests

“Britain has always been a tolerant and diverse society. We have welcomed those from different races, faiths and ideas for many centuries. Some feel it is not age-appropriate to teach primary children about LGBT families. But we must remember that many primary school classes have pupils with two mums or two dads. We all agree that those children, their parents, and the teachers in their schools deserve the same kindness and respect as everyone else. Our curriculum changes are about making sure all children leave school as happy, well-rounded individuals, who can form strong, committed and healthy relationships throughout their lives – that is something we can all agree on.” Complete Article HERE

pic of women protesting for rights

Afghani and Pakistani Women Battle for Peace, Education, and Women’s Rights

The Taliban’s growing role in shaping Afghanistan’s future poses serious risks for Afghan women, who stand to suffer the most from the group’s resurgence. At the threat of losing the minimal human rights they have acquired since 2001, women must urgently find a way to participate in fragile peacebuilding processes. Promisingly, they can look across the border to Pakistan for lessons in peacebuilding at the grassroots level. In Pakistan, women successfully navigated a similar situation against the Taliban and other violent terrorist groups. Despite specific differences framing women’s participation, the contextual similarities between the two countries lend credence to the effectiveness of a comparable approach.
Complete Article HERE

pic of students, girls Telangana-Minorities

‘Happiness Curriculum, the Joyful Connect’ is being Adopted in Indian Minority Schools

It is all about being happy. If education can’t give you happiness, what is the point? This pertinent question appears to have inspired the Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS) to come up with an entirely new concept. From the forthcoming academic year, the ‘Happiness Curriculum, the Joyful Connect’, a value-based curriculum will be introduced in its residential schools. The new curriculum is aimed at transforming students into responsible, caring, and contributing citizens, besides helping them stay motivated and happy.   Complete Article HERE

This Woman From Karachi Leads an Organization Teaching Underprivileged Children For Free

AAB (The Needs of Life) is a non profit organization operating in Karachi that has, since 2008, supported and encouraged the fundamental right to education, health and basic rights, particularly for underprivileged women and children. Under the leadership of Shazia Asif Khan-–-a motivational speaker, trainer and human rights activist—the organization has created educational projects and worked toward better education and healthcare facilities, while helping to restore peace and tolerance, and human, civil and democratic rights. Complete Article HERE

Şivan Perwer - Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Toward a Turkish-Kurdish Peace—The Role of Education

There have been many reasons offered for the failure of the Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process in 2015, some of which will be examined. Given the recent Turkish elections and the likelihood of renewed discussions, there can be no doubt that education will play an important role if a serious reconciliation is to be achieved.

The way we fashion our educational system tells us a lot about how we see the present and may also offer possible glimpses toward where we are heading. We impart values, knowledge and skills and chart goals for our children. So it is that a careful examination of what our children study often provides an instructive context for the direction of social and geopolitical development. In this sense, a culture’s textbooks can help us understand much about that society’s politics and strategies.

This paper focuses on one example of such a process. It examines the 2015 collapse of the Turkish-Kurdish peace process against the background of the Kurdish elective courses offered within Turkey’s national curriculum. It views the Kurdish electives as a distinct curriculum, reflecting Kurdish worldviews and existing parallel to the general Turkish educational system.[i] Consequently, there is an emphasis on the role of serious Turkish-Kurdish peace education in safeguarding any future reconciliation.

The 2015 Collapse of the Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process

Turkey’s elective Kurdish textbooks were authored, for the first time in the country’s history, as an initiative during the Turkish-Kurdish rapprochement. Leading that peace process were then Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdoğan and the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan. Both leaders had to overcome much opposition within their respective communities in charting a roadmap to peace. We also know, in hindsight, that the peace process began secretly in Oslo in 2009 against the background of an earlier thaw, turning public in 2011, and finally collapsing in 2015. This public Turkish-Kurdish “honeymoon” was, by 2014, supported by majorities in the two communities.[ii] The June 7, 2015 general elections for Turkey’s National Assembly resulted in 61.4 percent of the parliament’s members supporting the peace process.[iii]

Following the elections, however, the Turkish army launched a major offensive against the PKK forces, resulting in two thousand dead from both sides,[iv] hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, and the mass destruction of Kurdish neighbourhoods. Among those Kurdish politicians subsequently arrested were twelve parliamentarians and eighty-five mayors.[v]

Anger and fear among Turkey’s Kurds had already heightened by late 2014, as Turkey failed to stop ISIS from launching the siege of Kobane, on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. The Turkish government also prevented its own citizens from sending support to Kurdish fighters and civilians, some of them Turks, who were trapped in the nearby city.[vi] Widespread Kurdish riots in Turkey ensued, leading to dozens of fatalities. In some cases, ISIS fighters attacked Kobane from the Turkish side of the border.[vii] The Turkish government, for its part, protested the US-led coalition’s air support for the besieged Kurds, but was later convinced to allow reinforcements of Kurdish fighters from Iraqi Kurdistan to enter Kobane through Turkish territory.[viii] Turkey also accepted some 200,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees.[ix]

But Turkish policy was not consistent, revealing the deep suspicions felt by Ankara toward Kurdish nationalism. Regardless of the peace process, Turkish leaders continued to refer to the PKK as terrorists.

I have told [US President] Barack Obama there is no way we can approve of the assistance they provide to the PYD since it is a terrorist organization just like the PKK.[x]

Kurdish leverage in being the only serious ground force capable of confronting ISIS, along with the solidarity of Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Turkey was understandably seen as a danger by the Turkish government. In addition, cultural diversity, including women’s liberation and pronounced left-leaning secularism within militant Kurdish groups are not particularly compatible with the AKP’s penchant for political Islam.[xi]

The Kurdish victory in Kobane led to a wave of Turkish-Kurdish youths volunteering to rebuild the city. On July 20, 2015, an ISIS cell launched a major bombing attack on one such group of youths during a gathering in Suruç, not far from Kobane. A few days later, a renegade PKK group killed two Turkish police officers in retaliation. The Turkish Army then conducted a major offensive against the PKK, bringing the peace process to an end.

Current Explanations for the Collapse

Several explanations have been offered to explain the collapse of the peace process. The first allows that the two sides were not fully committed to peace. The election results of 2015 were less successful than expected for Erdoğan, and he needed the support of anti-Kurdish elements to secure a constitutional transformation of the country. An anti-Kurdish war was opportune and effective. On the PKK side, a declared withdrawal of armed PKK forces crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan never fully materialized. Another reason may have been that the Kurdish armed forces in Northern Syria offered an alternative path to freedom-seeking Kurds in Turkey. A third explanation suggests that radical elements among high echelons of the Turkish army may have been subverting the peace process. Another reason for the collapse might have been that the entire roadmap simply did not translate into a binding legal framework.[xii] Finally, there is the unresolved issue relating to mechanisms and experiences of territorial control and rights.[xiii]

School Textbooks Reflect Unresolved Issues

The current discussion draws on two studies treating the general Turkish curriculum and Kurdish elective courses as independent curricula, each representing distinct voices: the Turkish majority and the Kurdish minority.[xiv] Each curriculum was examined according to international standards for peace and tolerance.[xv] Among other things, these standards require respect for the Other (rival) nation or ethnic group; providing unbiased information; avoiding hate; and teaching peace-making. Of particular importance in conflict situations is the presentation of individual children and figures from the “Other” camp in a way that opens hearts for engagement and coexistence and encourages cooperation and prosperity.

What perhaps stands out most in both the general Turkish curriculum and the Kurdish electives is that they mirror one another in not recognizing the Other ethnic group.

Simply stated, the general Turkish curriculum does not recognize the Kurdish people. Yet, unlike the pre-2002 textbooks where the word “Kurd” was mostly avoided (except in a derogatory manner), it is no longer ignored in the curriculum.[xvi] The Kurdish language is mentioned, but only incidentally. Newroz [Nevruz], widely known as a Kurdish holiday in Turkey, is represented in the texts as an ancient Turkic tradition.[xvii] In the context of post-World War I arrangements, the allies plan to establish a Kurdish state is alluded to only indirectly.[xviii] In the following example presenting Turkey as pro-Kurdish, the actual word Kurd is missing:

In 1991, around 300,000 Peshmergas, who escaped from the Iraqi central government’s [military] operation, were allowed to take refuge in Turkey; camps were formed for them and they were provided shelter. Likewise, the number of refugees escaping to Turkey in 2011 because of the civil turmoil in Syria, exceeded 900,000, as of April 16, 2014.[xix]

While it is true that in recent years a few elective Kurdish language textbooks were released, (which is more than the Iranians or Syrians have done for their Kurdish populations), there is no discussion of Kurdish culture (including language) in the general Turkish curriculum.

The principle of nationalism, as stated by Atatürk, is to love the Turkish nation and try to dignify it. This principle attaches importance to the unity of language, emotion, culture and goals within national borders. Regardless of their religious faith and language, everybody who identifies themselves as Turkish and lives as a Turk, is Turkish. Atatürk expressed this by saying, “How happy is the one who can say ‘I am a Turk.’”[xx]

So, the general Turkish curriculum, which reflects what almost all citizens learn and teach, assumes a Turkish nation displaying a “unity of language, emotion, culture and goals within national borders.” There is a caveat for “religious faith and language. ” But there is no ethnic or cultural Kurdish minority.

In June 2012, the Turkish government announced for the first time the launch of a Kurdish elective language course entitled: “Living Languages and Dialects” [Yaşayan Diller ve Lehçeler].[xxi] Unfortunately, Kurdish education was, from the outset, minimalistic and did not accomplish the educational goals that many Kurds had expected. Many of the new schools are the religion-focused Imam Hatip branches that do not include the elective curriculum. Conversely, the government turned a blind eye to a number of illegal private Kurdish schools. However, these were closed down during the clampdown.

Despite its shortfalls, this Kurdish elective course should be treated as a pioneering curriculum that would have been unthinkable only a few decades ago. These textbooks proudly strengthen Kurdish identity and include elements of “nation-building.” A pan-Kurdish worldview is assumed, but the books do not foster hate toward Turks. Kurdish-historic places in Turkey, Iran and Iraq (but not Syria) are explored. Also featured is the Kurdish diaspora in Europe. Newroz, the Kurdish national holiday, is for the first time proudly depicted as a Kurdish national holiday, while conveying an eternal message of the struggle to overcome tyranny.

[The people] all attacked together. In doing so, they ended the tyrant’s brutality. From then on, a new day had begun. This day was March 21 and was named: ‘Newroz.’ Since that day, Newroz has represented two festivals: the festival for the beginning of spring and festival of emancipation.[xxii]

Children’s names within the texts are exclusively Kurdish. Nevertheless while Turks are not represented in the elective courses, all Kurdish students learn about Turkey in the required Turkish curriculum. These electives are perhaps most distinguished in the areas of gender and religion; here, the Kurdish textbooks are generally more secular than the rest of the current Turkish curriculum.[xxiii]

The Peace Process and the Importance of Education

The general Turkish educational system, as pointed out above, largely ignores the Kurdish question altogether. The curriculum reflects and enables the lack of a serious commitment for reconciliation of the Kurdish population with the Turkish majority.

The Kurdish elective courses do not fare much better in that respect. While providing a purely Kurdish cultural experience for students, the textbooks ignore the common heritage and future of Turks and Kurds as citizens of one country. Thus, these books neither correlate with the worldview proposed by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, nor with stated Turkish aspirations.

Drawing on Öcalan’s prison writings, the PKK redefined its political strategy as securing autonomous regions for Kurds in their respective countries rather than establishing an independent and united Kurdistan. The road maps sent by Öcalan to the PKK and the AKP government identified democratization of Turkey as the ultimate goal of the Kurdish movement.[xxiv]

Unfortunately, this elective curriculum does not present Kurdish culture as an integral part of the “democratization of Turkey.” It includes only Kurdish, and pan-Kurdish perspectives. The textbooks depict Newroz as it relates to the myth of struggle against tyrants (implying the Turks) with no emphasis on common heritage and shared future prosperity.

A major positive turning point in the peace process was the 2013 open Newruz festival in the major Kurdish city of Diyarbakir, celebrated in Turkey legally for the first time by enormous crowds. During that historic event, a letter was read from imprisoned PKK leader, Öcalan.

Like his other writings, Öcalan’s letter was interwoven with references to Kurds’ ethnic identity, examples from history of the political unity of Kurds and Turks, and literary metaphors drawn from nature to emphasize their coexistence. Assuming the brotherhood of Kurds and Turks as a cultural norm, Öcalan blamed ‘colonial imperial powers’ and their ‘local collaborators’ for the establishment of modern nation-states, the drawing of superficial borders, and for planting seeds of animosity between the peoples of the Middle East.[xxv]

Uniting against a common enemy is a strategy employed all too commonly across the region. The Kurdish curriculum, issued by the Turkish Ministry of Education, avoids this pitfall. No hate, demonization or incitement was detected; but there was also no common heritage and cross-ethnic cooperation, coexistence or recognition of the Other. No Turkish and Kurdish children are seen anywhere playing together.

In short, the two Turkish curricula—the general one and the Kurdish electives—reflect a strident reluctance within the two societies toward reconciliation and coexistence. There is no notion of a shared homeland. Allowing some Kurdish teaching was no doubt a ground-breaking step in the right direction, and yet far from the minimum needed to preserve an animated Kurdish culture. Mainly, the two curricula do not include peace education because they do not reference the Kurdish dilemma in Turkey and beyond. There is no recognition of the Other as an ethnic group, partner or stakeholder. And no shared vision.

Final Thoughts

Reading the textbooks can help us understand why the Turkish-Kurdish peace process collapsed. Established curricula are often good indicators of things to come. Textbooks, typically authored by a wide array of scholars and teachers, take their cues from politicians  but must also consider the national culture, public opinion, parents, teachers and, most importantly, children. Curricula authors are also influenced by global trends and requirements of global competition. At their best, they reflect past and current deep trends and worldviews within a given polity, but also aspirations for the future. At the most basic level, official textbooks are used by students throughout the nation and constitute the material for exams and success in life.

Textbooks are created by the community’s “wise men” and therefore carry an authoritative aura of uncontested truth for the youth who study from them. Certainly there is competition for their attention: social media, classroom and extra-curricular activities—even recess—must all be considered as part of the equation that influences young minds. But the written, certified and required curriculum of a country remains one of the clearest and most important voices to understand that nation, its people and its leaders.

Should Turkish-Kurdish negotiations resume, education will be high on the agenda. Being a key issue, the Kurds will surely raise the question of language and culture. A more delicate issue, however, is that of peace education aimed at fostering mutual respect and coexistence. As demonstrated by this analysis, peace education is a critical condition for the success of any peace process. Ignoring it will assure that the untenable status quo remains.


[i] For an extensive analysis of these curricula: Eldad J. Pardo, “Two Languages One Country: Turkey’s Elective Kurdish Curriculum,” IMPACT-se, https://www.impact-se.org/wp-content/uploads/Two-Languages-One-Country-Turkeys-Elective-Kurdish-Curriculum.pdf Jerusalem: IMPACT-se, April 2019; Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, “Turkey’s Curriculum Under Erdoğan: The Evolution of Turkish Identity” Jerusalem: IMPACT-se, Nov. 2016,https://www.impact-se.org/wp-content/uploads/Turkey-Interim-Report_IMPACT-se.pdf.

[ii] Serra Hakyemez, “Turkey’s Failed Peace Process with the Kurds: A Different Explanation,” Middle East Brief, no. 3 (June 2017): p. 4 (support among Turks was 57 percent, with 83 percent among Kurds).

[iii] Ibid., p. 7.

[iv] “Between July 2015 and December 2016, some two thousand people were reportedly killed in the context of security operations in southeastern Turkey. According to information received, this would include close to eight hundred members of the security forces, and approximately 1,200 local residents, of which an unspecified number may have been involved in violent or non-violent actions against the State.” “Report on the Human Rights Situation in southeastern Turkey, July 2015 to Dec. 2016.” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, February 2017, p. 2, https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/TR/OHCHR_South-East_TurkeyReport_10March2017.pdf.

[v] Hakyemez, “Turkey’s Failed,” p. 1. According to the above OHCHR report (p. 4), “The number of reported displaced persons (IDPs) in southeastern Turkey is estimated between 355,000 to half-a-million people, mainly citizens of Kurdish origin.”

[vi] Constanze Letsch in Suruç and Istanbul, Ian Traynor in Brussels. “Kobani: Anger Grows as Turkey STOPS Kurds from Aiding Militias in Syria.” The Guardian, Oct. 8, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/08/kobani-isis-turkey-kurds-ypg-syria-erdogan; Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly. “U.S. Frustration Rises as Turkey Withholds Military Help from Besieged Kobane.” The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-frustration-rises-as-turkey-withholds-military-help-from-besieged-kobane/2014/10/08/311cb190-4f0e-11e4-babe-e91da079cb8a_story.html?utm_term=.1d7def15d478.

[vii] “IS-Kämpfer greifen Kobane aus der Türkei an.” Der Spiegel, Nov. 11, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/kobane-islamischer-staat-greift-von-der-tuerkei-aus-an-a-1005699.html.

[viii] Humeyra Pamuk, Raheem Salman, “Kurdish Peshmerga Forces Enter Syria’s Kobani after further Air Strikes,” Reuters, October 31, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis/kurdish-peshmerga-forces-enter-syrias-kobani-after-further-air-strikes-idUSKBN0IK15M20141031.

[ix] “Turkey Hosts 200,000 Refugees from Kobane, Emergency Agency Says.” Hurriyet Daily, Dec. 21, 2014,


[x] PYD, or Democratic Union Party, is an armed confederalist Kurdish movement in northern Syria, https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2014/10/26/erdogan-there-is-a-superior-mind-in-pyds-kobani-plots.

[xi] Darya Najim and Krekar Mustafa. “Turkey and Rojava: The Clash of Two Projects.” The Jerusalem Post, April 28, 2018, https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Turkey-and-Rojava-The-clash-of-two-projects-552965.

[xii] Based on analysis and literary summary by Serra Hakyemez, who proposed the fourth explanation presented. Hakyemez, “Turkey’s Failed.”

[xiii] Dilan Okcuoglu. “The Elusive Quest for Peace between the Turks and the Kurds,” The Conversation, January 3, 2019, http://theconversation.com/the-elusive-quest-for-peace-between-the-turks-and-the-kurds-107646.

[xiv] Pardo, “Two Languages.”

[xv] “Our Methodology,” IMPACT-se,https://www.impact-se.org/methodology/.

[xvi] Yanarocak, “Turkey’s Curriculum,” p. 2.

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] Komisyon, Türkiye Cumhuriyeti İnkılâp Tarihi ve Atatürkçülük [The Republic of Turkey’s Revolution History and Atatürkism] (Ankara: Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 2014), p. 42.

[xix] Erdoğan Sağdıç and Zafer Araz, Uluslararası İlişkiler -Ortaöğretim Ders Kitabı [International Relations, Secondary School Textbook] (Ankara: Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, 2014), p. 103.

[xx] Erol Ünal Karabıyık, Sosyal Bilgiler – 5. Sınıf Ders Kitabı [Social Studies, Fifth-Grade Textbook] (Ankara: Evren, 2015), pp. 44–46.

[xxi] “MEB, İlkokul ve Ortaokul Derslerini Belirledi” [Ministry of Education Has Decided on the Courses for the Primary and Secondary Schools], Sabah, June 27, 2012, http://www.sabah.com.tr/egitim/2012/06/27/meb-ilkokul-ve-ortaokul-derslerini-belirledi.

[xxii] Kadri Yıldırım et al, Kurdî 7 Kurmancî (Kurdish 7, Kurmanji Dialect).  Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı (Ministry of National Education), 2015, p. 59.

[xxiii] Pardo, “Two Languages,” p. 1.

[xxiv] Bold added; Hakyemez, “Turkey’s Failed Peace,” p. 4.

[xxv] Ibid., p. 5.


Bias in South African School Textbooks

School textbooks used by South African pupils contain an over-representation of white people, men and nuclear families and are often silent on same-sex families, disability and the LGBTIQ community, according to a report by an interministerial task team appointed by the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, in 2016, to look into the content and visuals in textbooks for racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.   Complete Article HERE