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Michalis N. Michael

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the recent and noted effort to empower the religious framework in Turkish Cypriot education. The main argument of this paper concerns the question of whether this effort must be analysed as a new effort of ‘Turkifying’ the Turkish Cypriot community and not ‘ Islamifying’ it. The term ‘new’ applies since the first procedure to ‘ Turkify’ the community, according to the connotation of the term Turk that equates it to nation, is considered to have occurred in the late nineteenth century. Over a century later, the term Turk seems to also include the religious element, as opposed to the corresponding term after the creation of the modern Turkish nation. This change and the transition from the secular Turk to the Muslim Turk, a change that comes about in Turkey after the dominance of AKP, tries to penetrate the Turkish Cypriot community, turning the Turkish Cypriot into a Muslim Turk of Cyprus. However, what one should examine carefully are the peculiarities of the Turkish Cypriot community, especially in relation to religion, and, therefore, the difficulty to identify the average Turkish Cypriot with the term Muslim Turk of Cyprus.

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Keywords

Turkish Cypriots, education system, relition and education, identity

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