The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) youth wing is giving children below the age of 18 education in jihad and politics at a Mersin summer camp supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party Mersin deputy Aytuğ Atıcı, who visited the camp, criticized the decision, saying “a political party cannot give an education in politics to children under the age of 18.”
Atıcı said the children in the camp were being raised to be militants.
During the camp, which lasted from July 1 to July 23, male children from different parts of Turkey were given political and religious education and met with AKP deputies and executives as well as clerics.
Upon being asked why they allowed the summer camp, Provincial Director of Mersin Youth and Sports Şaban Güneş said they had received an order from the ministry.
The camps, which were transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the condition of being reserved for the youths of Mersin, were assigned to the youth wing of the AKP, the report said.
As part of a debate following the introduction of the concept of jihad, or holy war, in the new national school curriculum, AKP deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı had said it was useless to teach math to a child who does not know the concept of jihad.