Education Ministry recalls textbooks due to page on press freedom

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(Photo: Cumhuriyet)

The Turkish Education Ministry has issued a decision to immediately recall seventh grade textbooks due to a page on press censorship by the government, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Thursday.

According to the report, the ministry distributed thousands of books to seventh grade students. The book had a chapter on press freedom that discussed the significance of the media and briefly mentioned the situation of the media in Turkey.

The ministry ordered the books to be immediately collected and kept in warehouses.
The chapter on media freedom argued that increased pressure on the media led to corruption and financial crisis in countries.

“The ruling party in a country is disturbed by media reports of corruption about their government. Benefiting from their power to change the constitution, they add articles to constitution restricting media freedom and censor news that is published without their permission.”

The chapter asked students questions about the negative impacts of restricted media freedom in the country and to write their opinion about it.

The ministry said new books would be distributed in return for the recalled texts.

Turkey has drifted into an oppressive regime particularly after massive corruption investigations in December 2013 and a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

According to the International Press Institute (IPI) a total of 171 journalists are currently imprisoned in Turkey due to their journalistic activities.

More than 160 media outlets with critical editorial policies have been seized by the government, and many of them were sold to pro-gov’t media groups without a tender.

Turkey has been undertaking a massive purge since the coup attempt that is not limited to journalists. Thousands of academics, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, teachers and doctors are behind bars on charges of coup involvement.

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