The schools, section of a system of hundreds throughout the world, try to create a "golden generation" of educated Muslims by focusing research and technology, however some regional governments come to mind.
Kiddies attend a course at Istanbul's Fatih university, run by supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher just who advocates reasonable Islam rooted in modern life. / Reuters
With traditional Muslim believers getting more visible in Turkey these days, an action established by a charismatic Islamic theologian, Fetullah Gülen, is attracting increasing outside interest. The Gülen motion's general public profile is defined mainly by an internationally system of schools it operates, however little is known in regards to the inner functions of this corporation's educational element.
I happened to be recently invited to visit the movement's exhibit, high-achieving schools, Fatih Koleji, on the European part of Istanbul. The see offered greater quality on an especially controversial facet of the schools' operations - spiritual training.
The Gülen movement's reported aim would be to develop a "golden generation" of educated Muslims, an aim provided by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Within Fatih Koleji school, statues in Ottoman-era garb and children's artwork sparsely decorate the inner of this sleek, multi-storey school building. Male teachers wear fits, while most the female trainers wear long, white jackets. The obligatory picture of the Republic of chicken's very first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, hangs in just about any area.
But portraits of Gülen, which at this time lives in america, aren't to be noticed. Students interviewed I interviewed claimed which they only know about the cleric from reading periodicals tales and publications; Fatih Koleji, with pupils varying in age from four to 18, cannot provide certain training concerning the movement's creator, they said.
The methods and approach of Gülen schools toward religious training has actually fueled countless speculation towards motion's intentions. Governments in Central Asia specifically are dubious your Islamic values espoused because of the Gulen motion may potentially present challenging towards political status quo in the area.
Hoping to dispel misconceptions, the 37-year-old vice-principal of Fatih Koleji, Metin Demirci, which taught for five years into the action's schools in Kazakhstan, stressed that most the schools closely proceed with the curriculum for the public schools in whichever nation they are operating.
In Turkey, he said the basic principles of Islam tend to be taught in a weekly course lasting 80 minutes that also offers training on other globe religions. "pupils learn our religious axioms alongside spiritual axioms, " Demirci stated. Professors people, he advertised, try to serve as role types of Islamic piety, leading by instance.
While Fatih Koleji has a prayer room, no pupil is obligated to pray, Demirci continued. Off 200 pupils at college, only about 10% regarding the kiddies proceed with the Muslim training of prayer five times every single day, he estimated. "they need to want it."
One foreign teacher at another of this activity's estimated 30 schools in the Istanbul metropolitan area commented that many students are drawn from spiritual people, but their belief doesn't appear to "rub off" on even more secular classmates.
One ritual from Turkey's ardently secular public schools, however, seems less prominent at Fatih Koleji. Demirci played down the need for "Our Oath, " a nationalist pledge that students frequently recite each day. "It is about democracy and enhancing democracy, " he said. "I think within the next couple of years, we are going to end saying this because we don't want it. With democracy, every small son or daughter has the straight to say such a thing they choose."
Whether secular or religious, Fatih Koleji's pupils may actually hail from wealthier households. Tuition appears at 20, 000 Turkish lira each year, or about $11, 325, nearly the equivalent of Turkey's average per capita earnings of $14, 600. The charge cannot consist of publications or transport to school. Financial assistance can be obtained to qualifying pupils.