Do Oaths Demean Children?

A growing number of minorities in  Turkey are finally expressing their displeasure with the notorious oath of allegiance which every school child must recite in the morning as school begins. The “Andimiz” (Our Pledge) begins with, “I am a  Turk. I am honest; I am hardworking. Let my entire being serve as a gift to Turkish existence.” Of course, there dwells in the nation of Turkey, Kurds, Greeks, Armenians, and other minorities who feel insulted to pledge to the work their “Turkish being.”

Anyone who has spent time teaching in an American school in which students recite the Pledge of Allegiance quickly learns this is among the silliest example of patriotism. Children mouth words without any thought of the meaning of words. Pledges serve to make those in power actually believe patriotism exists. Heck in America, we have businessmen who will send jobs to other countries even as their children in school recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The best way to further Turkish national pride is allowing each minority group to feel comfortable in living in the land and feel respected for their dignity as humans. Recite that pledge.