Turkish university to investigate gender equity course targeted by Islamist daily

A university in Istanbul has launched an investigation into a gender equity course after an Islamist newspaper criticised the class for going against national and religious values, Artı Gerçek news site reported on Saturday.

The University of Health Sciences’ probe into the course follows a report by Milli Gazete, a publication of Turkey’s Islamist Felicity Party, saying the class rejected the unique nature of men and women as created by God. 

The newspaper on Friday reported on what it saw as the problematic content of the course, which includes calls to “avoid assigning gender to children until they are three years old” and speaks on the transformative nature of gender identity.

The course “rejects Turkey’s religious, social and cultural structure while openly targeting new generations,” Milli Gazete said.

The university, which, unlike other universities, operates directly under the Health Ministry instead of the Higher Education Council, said the course was offered as an elective, while many higher educational institutes offered it as a mandatory class.

It added that the criticisms in question, which would have been outside the set curriculum, were being investigated.

“We would never approve of our national and sacred values to be up for debate, even for the sake of a class,” the university said. 

Milli Gazete on Sunday celebrated the probe, calling it another “journalistic victory” for the publication.