Scholarly article on topic 'The Attitudes of Political Parties towards Education: The 2011 Election Returns Examples of Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)'

The Attitudes of Political Parties towards Education: The 2011 Election Returns Examples of Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Mustafa Macit

Abstract Education has an important place in the political party policies and political points of views. Not only the attitudes of political parties towards education reflect the ideological, political differences of them, but also it is in the mirror position of expectations and demands appearing on the field of education and training within the frame of modern and global developments. Considering this fact, the analysis, that will be made upon the election returns of the political parties, can be thought to be descriptive both about the political and ideological aspects of attitudes of political parties towards education, the developments in the field of education, needs and expectations and about the present conditions of the relation between politics and education and the education policies and the possible direction that education will take in the future. In this declaration, with reference to such a view, with the discourse analysis method, the 2011 general election returns of Justice and Development Party, Republican People's Party, Nationalist Movement Party which have groups in parliament and different political stances, are aimed to research comparatively.

Academic research paper on topic "The Attitudes of Political Parties towards Education: The 2011 Election Returns Examples of Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 174 (2015) 283 - 289

INTE 2014

The attitudes of political parties towards education: the 2011 election returns examples of Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party

Mustafa Macit*

* Assoc. Prof. Atatürk University Faculty of Theology Education of Religion and Ethics for Primary School Department, Turkey/Erzurum, Tel.:,

Abstract

Education has an important place in the political party policies and political points of views. Not only the attitudes of political parties towards education reflect the ideological, political differences of them, but also it is in the mirror position of expectations and demands appearing on the field of education and training within the frame of modern and global developments. Considering this fact, the analysis, that will be made upon the election returns of the political parties, can be thought to be descriptive both about the political and ideological aspects of attitudes of political parties towards education, the developments in the field of education, needs and expectations and about the present conditions of the relation between politics and education and the education policies and the possible direction that education will take in the future. In this declaration, with reference to such a view, with the discourse analysis method, the 2011 general election returns of Justice and Development Party, Republican People's Party, Nationalist Movement Party which have groups in parliament and different political stances, are aimed to research comparatively.

© 2015TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevier Ltd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Sakarya University

Keywords: Education, Turkish Society, Politics, Political Parties, JDP, RPP, NMP

* Corresponding author. Tel.: Tel.:+ 05334915460 E-mail address: macitm@atauni.edu.tr

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Sakarya University

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.659

Introduction

The Turkish Republic would be a nation state that would be founded by political elite on the institutional and social heritage of Ottoman Empire in Anatolian peninsula. One of the most important components of its foundation philosophy was to form a new society; a new nation for the new republic. Nation forming is an expression of defining an identity that is above all the identities and including everybody to that defined identity. A similarizing process was needed, since that upper identity that would be defined could not intersect with all the identities (Kaya, 2011). One of the similarizing ideological instruments for forming a new society ideal was education. On one hand, education was the instrument of proliferation and legitimateness of Ataturk's principles and revolutions among great communities; on the other hand it was the instrument of an ideal to form a modern community/nation. On that sense, education was not only the subject of political project and projections, but it was a social discipline as well. Until transition to multiparty democratic life, political projects and practices relating to education saw the value as political socialization of the top-down lever of official ideology by a single-party. However, with the transition to multi-party democratic life, in a variation that took place in the political arena and competitive environment, policies related to education began to settle into the orbit of bottom-up orientation of the requests and demands, and current social and international cyclical conditions determined the direction of this policies. In other words, as a natural result of a multi-party democratic environment, political parties on the one hand simultaneously organized and tried to take control of education, on the other hand began to keep close to an approach that took into account the national and international developments in this field and requests and demands in the field of education as well as public on almost any subject in addition to official ideology.

In multiparty political life, parties diversify to reflect the wishes and demands of differences in traditional, local or functional basis that exist in society. It was also experienced in Turkey. However, to move to the political arena and the competitive environment of those differences that occurred in the axis of the requests and demands, the number of political parties increased and polarization of political parties in Turkey was formed by the framework of the right-left discrimination that began to ossify in 1960s and traditional/local distinctions axis. After this stage, the education policies of the parties were shaped in the orbit of political ideas and ideologies that sat on the complex interplay of three fundamental dynamics in various styles such as traditional / local distinctions, the official ideology and modernization in the right-left patterns. As long as we have not treated politics and political parties as fully the artificial field, we have to accept the existence of going hand in hand between their political stance and related social reality. Our basic aim in our declaration that starts from this acceptance is to analyze these parties' views toward education in a sample of three political parties' election declaration in 2011 elections and the socio-political reality that these views reflect. Our work towards this goal is discussed in discourse analysis methods and tried to be established a relationship of text context taking into account the parties' discourse on education at the micro level and the socio-political situation that the parties try to identify or reflect at the macro level. Related discourses have excess of meaning that is in excess of social context with dimensions to manipulate the masses idealized as abusive and discourses from the reality that the actual reality of a moving hand in hand in the methodological process are tried to solve in three main thematic categories related to the value of education, gain, trained human representations. In this categorization process, starting from a preliminary reading of texts political parties defined education as a process of building identity and human breeding that have certain gains and values in the context of specific social and universal values and within this framework it is based on the observation that education has adopted a subject for policies.

1. Education in the Election Declarations of JDP, RPP, and NMP

Table 1 Value, Gins and trained Human Representations featured in Party Politics

REPRESENTATIONS OF VALUE REPRESENTATIONS OF GAIN REPRESENTATION OF EDUCATED PEOPLE

JDP Modernity, equality, universality, innovation, self-reliance, competition, cooperation, dialogue, empathy, sharing, knowledge, science. Critical and creative thinking, sharing and communication, a universal understanding and thinking, reasoning, practice the learned items, self, thought and business An individual with critical and creative thinking, open to sharing and communication, a powerful sense of art and aesthetic, capable of universal insights and thought, open to new ideas, seeing differences as

confidence, use of technology, recognition of Turkey, establish a dialogue, new ideas, openness to new ideas, seeing differences as wealth, diligence and productivity, be conscious, open and a pioneer. richness, adopting work and production as a virtue.

RPP Equality of opportunity, universality, secularism, democracy, nation, rights, freedom, respect, ethics, innovation, openness, science. Adopt democratic and secular values and the principles of Ataturk, treat with respect to human rights and freedoms, reading comprehension, use time effectively, body protection, others understand the feelings of others, healthy communication, thinking and express ideas freely, having social responsibility and ethical values, making scientific research freely, leadership. Citizens connected to Ataturk's principles and revolutions, adopted democratic and secular values, respecting human rights and freedoms in line with the overall objectives of Turkish national education that will be revised.

NMP Modernity, democracy, equality of opportunity, innovation, nationalspiritual, Turkishness, Islam, morality, belief, competition, knowledge, and science. To assimilate nationalspiritual and cultural values , be democratic, protect and develop national identity, selection, planning and programming, ability of analysis and synthesis, critical and creative thinking, perception and problem solving, responsibility, feeling sensitivity, producing of science-technology-solutions, learning innovations, leadership for social development , entrepreneurship. The generation having pride and consciousness for being a membership of Turkish nation, assimilated with spiritual and cultural values, with improved thinking, perception and problem-solving skills, open to new developments, with a sense of responsibility and high social awareness, inclined to production of science and technology, repreneurial, democratic, cultured and faithful.

1.1 JDP: Individualist Education

JDP sees education as an activity that can be equipped for the country's human resources to compete with the contemporary world to cultivate a strong community and in JDP's election declaration, outstanding value representatives can be listed as modernity, equality, universality, innovation, self-reliance, competition, cooperation, dialogue, empathy, sharing, knowledge, and science. According to JDP, education that will be made within the framework of these value representations will enable skills and abilities for the target audience such as

critical and creative thinking, sharing and communication, a universal understanding and thinking, reasoning, practice the learned items, confidence of self, business, and thought, use of technology, recognition og Turkey, establish a dialogue, openness to new ideas, seeing differences as wealth, diligence and productivity, be conscious, open and a pioneer. In the framework of these gains and the related education policies, individuals will be trained that can think critically and creatively, open to sharing and communication, have sense of a powerful art and aesthetic, have universal insights and thought, be open to new ideas, see differences as richness, see work and production as a virtue. (Election declaration of JDP).

In general terms it can be said that individualistic values and achievements occupy a central place in view of the JDP's education. If noted it can be seen that the values and gains listed above include personal autonomy and emphasis of self-realization without reducing individual to any social category or any collective identity and in the identification of individuals who are thought to be cultivated through education it can be also noted that identity is based on individual skills and achievements.

In fact, as its traditional structure Turkish society is individualistic rather than collectivistic. After the establishment of the Republic, a Durkheimian conceptualization of society was fully made. In this conception, the the society is a moral asset. Society is a symbolic form that will determine the individual's moral obligations. In this form, the individual is reduced to a community or a nation (Sarybay, 2001; Sunay, 1974). However, especially from 1980 onwards in Turkey, a new mentality and within this mentality individualism has begun to stand out within the framework of global and internal dynamics such as neo-liberal policies and postmodernity affecting Turkey (Kahraman, 2002). Capitalism that emphasizes on the autonomy of the consumer exceedingly and increases individuality (Saribay, 1994), and the developments in the field of civil society and human rights have led to the emergence of individuality along with the neo-liberal and post-modern wind in Turkey today. Being an individual, being himself, being for himself, has affected everyone at various levels. The congregations of traditional social forms, that the individual has joined with the system of values and sense of self-transcending and seen himself as a part of a exalted collectivity, are replaced by a new philosophy of life that starts gradually in individuals and ends up in them again (Bostanci, 1994). Although individualism shapes with the effect of global dynamics and processes and internal dynamics and processes show itself in an interaction of a complex and unexpected style, the number of individuals that find themselves independent of over purpose and find the ability to determine where they stand in life within the framework of his own subjectivity, being free of the guidance of any system, ideology or policy in Turkey are gradually increasing. The individual identity corresponding to this increase appears where inclusive narratives lost (Turkmen, 1999).

It is understood that JDP's basic education policy and education approach are formed in a reflecting plane or descriptive of social situations where inclusive narratives are lost. Especially in the election declaration there is an expression that fits this framework: "We gave up rote learning and implemented an understanding of learning that teaches." In the end, the founding staff came from a political Islamist tradition, being criticized for doing religion-based politics, and defined itself as "conservative democrat" but, avoidance of party's inclusive and traditional identity definitions is significant as far as it reflects the concerned social status. However, considering the social station in particular to JDP is controversial whether it is a local variation or strategic on behalf of an adapt to the environment or a conjectural in the sense of an organization.

1.2. RPP: Nationalist Education

The RPP considering education as a process in which a citizen is educated within the frame of Ataturk principles, secularism, democracy regards equal opportunities, universality, secularism, democracy, nation, right, freedom, respect, ethics, innovation, legibility, science, etc. as indispensable morals. The RPP promises adoption of Ataturk principles and democratic-secular morals by means of education, to be respectful to personal rights and freedoms, reading comprehension, using time effectively, protecting his body, feeling empathy, providing health communication, freedom of speech, having social responsibility and ethics morals, doing scientific researches freely, developing abilities and capabilities such as leadership. According to the RPP, the main purpose of education to be revised is to educate citizens in parallel with Ataturk principles and revolutions by adopting de mocratic and secular morals and showing respect to personal rights and freedoms (RPP Election Bulletin, 2011). The general analysis of the RPP's election return shows that the education policy of the RPP is determined by an ideological concept, nationalism. Nationalism emphasizes ''individuals' relation with a series symbols and faiths including collectivism between members of a political order '' (Giddens, 2008). It can be said that some concepts

like national, secular and citizenship which are not mentioned in other parties' discourses are regarded as basic education morals of the RPP and the discourses of the party about education including some morals and gains consider individual identity as political category, a citizen who is a member of nation state. A citizen means simply a member of a political community in Latin and Greek. For instance, according to J.J. Rousseau, distinctive character of being a citizen is to exist as a part of the whole ; thus, its value depends on community (Saribay, 1994). School and education are significant ideological devices to determine citizen identity in the education policy of the RPP. Actually, in general terms, school is a place where individuals are educated according to the the basic principles of nation-state ideology; thus, they are included to the system gradually. This is the main reason of strict historical relation between the development of school as a mass institution which provides opportunity for individuals to become socialized and is not limited to specialized formations or culture of elites and national formation. Althusser was right about his definition of ''ideological devices of state''; according to him, in bourgeois societies, the origin of dominant ideology changes from family-church pair to family-school pair ( Balibar and Wallestein, 2000).

Nation-state as a historical-sociologic category, emerging after French Revolution, is one of the significant devices of nationalism (Saribay,1998). According to Gellner, '' nationalism is not a product of nations, but it is a concept by which nations emerge.'' (Gellner, 1992). There are a lot of discussions about how nation-state model is successful; however, the main ideological device of this aim is education. Education based Republic ideology aims to change Islam community to citizens of Republic (Kahraman, 2002). Education and school try to teach the basic principles of regime and educate individuals regarded as ideal in the history of Turkey ( Gungor, 1996).

The RPP which is the founder party of Republic and the representative of official ideology determines its education policy in parallel with the principles of the regime. However, general purposes of Turkish national education will be revised with reference to the discourses of the RPP. It can be said that changes are inevitable at this point. Authoritative and tough modernist aspects of Republic, the position of a citizen who has responsibilities more than rights, the effects of globalization, post modernity and neo-liberal policies, the process in which nation-states are in a crisis in literature of social sciences are main reasons of this change. The discourse of the RPP emphasizing that education process of a citizen must be in parallel with Ataturk principles, secularism and democracy (RPP Election Bulletin, 2011) means also 90 years education aim of official ideology has not be reached to a satisfactory level or official ideology is insufficient in political socialization by means of education.

1.3. NMP: Nationalist Education

The NMP regards education as a process of educating generations who have national-moral, scientific and universal morals and the party suggests an education model based on some morals such as modernity, democracy, equal opportunities, innovation, national-moral, Turkishness, Islam, morality, faith, competition, knowledge, science,etc. Thus, some abilities and capabilities such as adoption of national-moral and cultural values, being democrat, protecting and developing national identity, to be able to make selection, planning, programming- analysis and synthesis, thinking critically and creatively, perception and solving problems, feeling responsibility and sensibility, science - technology - producing solutions , learning innovations, leadership for social developments, entrepreneurship will be gained by means of this policy. According to the NMP, the main purpose of education policy is to educate generations who are proud of being Turkish, adopt moral and cultural values, have ability to think, sense and solve problems, are open to innovations, have a sense of responsibility and social responsibilities, are inclined to science and technology productions, are entrepreneur, democrat, cultured and faithful (NMP Election Bulletin, 2011).

The general analysis of the election return of the NMP shows that the education policy of the NMP is based on nationalism and morality. Turk, Islam, nation, moral, cultural concepts which are not mentioned in other parties' discourses are regarded as basic morals of the education policy of the NMP. It can be said that common history and cultural-moral characteristics are significant factors for the education process of individuals in education policy of the NMP. An individual is valuable and significant if he is proud of being a part of Turkish identity. Nationalism including conservative and rightist approaches, culture and custom has developed as well as nationalism including leftist and secular approaches. Turkish rightist nationalism especially emphasize the concept ''national'' including religious-moral and cultural values contrary to nationalism including leftist and secular approaches. According to this way of thinking, primary and secondary culture identities of citizens are supposed to be Turkish and Islam (Aktay & Kizilkaya & Osmanoglu & Dilek & Yurdakul, 2010). The main aim of nationalist

approach of this way of thinking is national culture union and political association (Güngör, 1996). Education policy of the NMP is based on two concepts, Turkishness and Islam, accepted in society as cultural identities; from this point of view, aim of national culture and political association are possible to be accomplished. Religious discourses of rightist nationalist custom of the NMP, whose grassroots are inclined to religious effects, have been more apparent since especially 1970s (Qalik, 1995). The NMP considers society as historical, cultural, religious and linguistic community as stated in discourses and election return of the party. Education of history, culture, religion and language are emphasized in the election return of the NMP. In this respect, nation is not a case, but it is a process which can be understood in production-reproduction dialectic. The basis of this process is education, as a basic ideological device. According to the discourses of the NMP, education is a process of educating generations not individuals. Ideal of educating generations reminds of the search for educating generations by Islamists and rightists in the past of Turkey. The concept, generation, indicates an ideal generation, faithful to the origin of Turkey.

2. Conclusion

The basic common item in the education policies of three parties we chose as sample is to educate individuals that have outstanding values in the number 1739 of Turkish National Education Basic Law (http://mevzuat.meb.gov.tr/html/temkanun_1/temelkanun_1.html, 20.05.2014) and perform tasks and objectives intended in this law. For all three parties, education is a tool and adopting the desired values and gain to children is an objective. What is to be basically made through education is is a social engineering by the government (for further information about this aspect of the education in Turkey, look Kaya, 2011). In these engineering attempts almost any solution of the problem from poverty to social integration can be seen to be sought in education. From this point of it can be understood that education in Turkey and hence knowledge that is instrumentalized for the community engineering by political hand will continue to be one of the fundamental problems of education. At this point, the risk or danger combined to it should be an adapt of the truth according to a fiction whatever the starting point of this rather than teaching the truth or what it should be. Another common point of education policies of the parties is that they take into account contemporary social and international values and processes. With this common point, JDP is willing to train individuals for the society, RPP citizens for nation-state and NMP generation for the nation. On this plane, we could actually argue that different sizes of three parties' education policy are released across "locality" and "universality". Traditions that come from within the party and in particular in recent years considering education policies in parallel of the discourse that we will raise a religious generation, the absence of policies and rhetoric about religious education in JDP'S election declaration is remarkable. Based on this fact, the education policy of JDP in the election declaration is conjunctural and strategic rather than a local variation, and to the extent that it takes into account the current social situation it is realist at the level of rhetoric. The education policies of RPP and specially NMP that attract attention with recommendations on the training of national-religious and spirituality can be said ideological.

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