Anti-communism in Turkish Education and Childhood in 1950s

Öztan G. G. , Çağlı Kaynak E.

Faces of Republican Turkey: Beyond the Modernization Hypothesis, Ateş Uslu,E. Zeynep Suda, Editör, Istanbul University Press, İstanbul, ss.101-127, 2020

  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Yayınevi: Istanbul University Press
  • Basıldığı Şehir: İstanbul
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.101-127
  • Editörler: Ateş Uslu,E. Zeynep Suda, Editör


SS30.2020.004.05Abstract The roots of anti-communism and conservative family ideology are well-founded aspects of national education in Turkey as a reflection of the country’s joining the U.S-led Western bloc during the Cold War and the ideological as well as educational policies of the bloc at the end of the 1940s. When the Democrat Party (DP) came to power in Turkey in 1950, it pursued a program that synthesizes capitalist development, liberal economic rights and conservative values. In a context where anti-Communism became the state’s official policy, the increasing role of religion in education and the tightening control in schools appeased the political and ideological concerns of the DP government. Looking at these measures was crucial not only to understand the major changes that took place in the Turkish education system but also to analyze the social and political dynamics of the entire period. This article aims to find answers to the following questions: “How did Turkey’s childhood policy evolve in the 1950s? Which ideological values and tools were used effectively in this process?” What were the differences and similarities between the U.S educational policies and the practices of the Turkish government with regards to education? In order to answer these questions, we will ponder the role of anti-Communism in education together with the role of experts from America in designing the education system in Turkey. Subjects such as religious education, schooling, educational institutions, and anti-Communism that played a role in the political construction of childhood will be analyzed. Debates in the Turkish parliament, comments in newspapers, and journals such as Yeni Okul, Forum, and İlk Öğretim (New School, Forum and Primary Education), published for educators, are the main sources used in this research.