Turkey’s education ministry launches investigation into guidebook over discriminatory images

Turkey’s Ministry of Education launched an investigation into a guidebook prepared for teachers, after some visual depictions used in the book were denounced by social media users for being discriminatory, Sözcü daily reported on Friday. 

The “Psychosocial Support Programme Practitioner Trainings” book published by the ministry aims at helping teachers to reach out to children victimised by traumas.

The visuals in the book drew criticism for showing all mothers that show compassion towards their children as wearing the Islamic head covering of hijab, while mothers who caused further frustration in their children are without hijab. 

In the case of men, all visuals use men with moustaches to depict the acceptable methods of physical contact with children, while men who treat children abusively do not have moustaches. 

Yıldırım Kaya, the deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said on Saturday that his party submitted a parliamentary question on the matter to the Minister of Education Ziya Selçuk. 

Instead of fighting against discrimination, Turkish authorities had been dividing people over their life-style preferences, Kaya said.