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Turkey Bans Western Holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) in Private Schools to Uphold National Values

Updated: Apr 18


Turkey Bans Western Holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) in Private Schools to Uphold National Values

The Turkish Ministry of Education has implemented changes to regulations governing private educational institutions, now prohibiting the celebration of Western holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween. This decision, aimed at safeguarding "national and cultural values," was reported by Turkish Minute, citing information from the Gazete Oksijen news website.


The revised regulations, officially published in the Official Gazette, highlight a shift in focus towards activities that align with the psychosocial development of students. The ban on Western holiday celebrations follows warnings issued to schools in December 2023, cautioning against activities deemed "incompatible with Turkey's national identity."


Turkey Bans Western Holidays (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) in Private Schools to Uphold National Values

A significant aspect of the regulatory update introduces "social activity and development centers" within educational institutions. These centers are designed to foster students' social, cultural, artistic, and sports development alongside their academic progress.


The new regulations also mandate that school operations, including the annual academic calendar and operating hours, must consider nationwide exams. Moreover, all activities within schools are required to align with "the principles of national education."


Another change emphasizes the use of only ministry-approved textbooks, underlining the government's increased control over educational content. This measure is seen as part of a broader initiative to ensure conformity within the education system.

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