Middle East Miscellany

by Michael Rubin

Iranian Reformists, Green Movement Endorse Embassy Seizure

Masoumeh Ebtekar, a prominent reformist and spokeswoman of the embassy captors: “None of those engaged in the seizure repent it.” And Former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi praises Grand Ayatollah Khomeini’s endorsement of the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Faith in Islam top Turkish educational goal

Values taught to Turkish students should be based on “faith in God” and imparted using Islamic terminology, a commission with the National Education Council has said, prompting concerns among educators’ unions in the country.

Various commissions within the council have announced reform proposals that would affect the length of compulsory education and whether boys and girls are taught together, among other topics. Though the proposals still require adoption in the council’s general assembly, which was expected to be held late Wednesday or Thursday, and are not binding, many fear they add up to an attempt to impose an Islamic ideology over the country’s educational system.

A plan to change the current system of eight years of uninterrupted primary education back to a two-part system that allowed younger students to attend imam-hatip (religious vocational) schools is among the controversial proposals. 

More here.

Turkish Journalists Demand Freedom of Press

Members of the Freedom for Journalists Platform staged a protest Friday in Ankara’s Güvenpark, calling for the release of imprisoned journalists. “More than 100 journalists are facing the threat of imprisonment in the short term,” Atilla Sertel, chairman of the Turkish Journalists Federation, said in reference to 20 other journalists whose punishments have been stayed five years.