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Turkish students flock to theology faculties due to job guarantees

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According to the results of the 2017 university entrance examinations, theology and Islamic sciences have become the second most popular major after law among students due to guaranteed jobs after graduation, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday.

Experts said imam-hatip school, or religious high school, students and students from other high schools are increasingly opting for the theology and Islamic sciences faculty since they are able to become teachers after receiving training upon graduation and there is a higher chance of being appointed compared to teachers who graduate in other fields.

Postal services, execution of punishments and security services were also among the popular disciplines due to the guaranteed job expectations of students, who are especially interested in working in the civil service.

According to a Sözcü daily report in June, a handout prepared by the Hoca Ahmet Yesevi Anadolu Imam-Hatip High School in the western province of İzmir promised its graduates preference in enrollment at military and police academies.

The handout, which aims to boost enrollment at the school, also underlined that since the number of courses on religious culture and moral knowledge will be increased to two hours weekly in all high schools, theology and Islamic sciences faculties will be promising for young people in the future.

Some find the Turkish government’s efforts to Islamicize the Turkish army alarming and warn that NATO risks having a member army filled with extremists.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is also an imam-hatip graduate, and his AKP have been trying to increase the number of imam-hatip schools, which fell due to state policies following a postmodern coup on Feb. 28, 1997.

According to statistics shared by the Education Union (EğitimSen), the number of imam-hatip schools rose to 1,961 in 2015 from 450 in 2002 when Erdoğan’s AKP came to power.

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