Ottoman language classes to be introduced ‘whatever they say,’ vows Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has waded into the heated debate over the possible inclusion of Ottoman language classes in the high school curriculum, vowing that the classes will be introduced “no matter what they say.”

“There are those who don’t want Ottoman [language] to be learned and taught. This is a very big danger,” Erdoğan said on Dec. 8, delivering a speech at “5th Religion Council” hosted by the Directorate General of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) in Ankara.

“Whether they want it or not, Ottoman [language] will be learned and taught in this country,” he pledged.

According to decisions taken by Turkey’s National Education Council, which closed its annual meeting over the weekend, Ottoman language classes will be compulsory for imam-hatip religious vocational high schools and elective for other high schools.

The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) apparent enthusiasm for the Ottoman language courses has been widely interpreted as a further sign of its wish to impose its particular interpretation of history and values in Turkey’s education system…