There is growing concern within Turkey about the desirability of continuing the compulsory, “national security class” in which members of the military come to schools and deliver lectures to students on the topic of what should they believe regarding certain issues in their nation’s life. Human rights observers say the course which has been compulsory since 1925 raises questions as to whether the military should be indoctrinating children about foreign affairs and what constitutes being a loyal member of society. The Turkish Human Rights Foundation also studied school textbooks which they discovered contain nationalistic, gender-biased and racist materials.
Members of the military invariably see “threats to security” since it is in their self interest to uncover plots and plans to undermine the nation. Professor Ahmet Insel of Galatasaray University, notes Turkey is among a handful of nations which have such courses and believes the course helps to perpetuate a sense that certain groups within the nation are serious national security threats. The course allows members of the military to engender their views in society.