President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that Turkey strongly needs a cultural revolution.
Underlining what his government has done for the infrastructure and superstructure of Turkey, he said, “We have reached the level that we can produce our own helicopters. But the helicopters and planes started to bomb and kill us. The main issue is not physical structures, but rather shaping hearts and minds. To accomplish this goal, we need a cultural revolution. We have to make basic reforms in culture. We strongly need a cultural revolution,” during a speech at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University in the Black Sea city of Rize.
Erdoğan used to call for a “religious generation” in Turkey, asking academics to work at imam-hatips, or religious schools, in a speech on Feb. 27, 2016. According to reports, the number of imam-hatip students has increased from 60,000 to 1.5 million during the 14-year time in power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The opposition criticizes Erdoğan for using public schools to create a political Islamist grass-root generation for his own purposes.