The State of Citizenship Education in Turkey: Past and Present

  • Kenan Çayır
  • İpek Gürkaynak


Citizenship education in Turkey has been a part of the state-centric modernization project involving the transformation of public and private lives of Turkish citizens. Although there has always been a separate course on civics, citizenship education emerges as a cross-curricular theme in the Turkish educational system which aims at creating a self-sacrificing and patriotic citizen. Besides its particularistic content, however, Turkish citizenship education also involves references to a universal conception of citizenship in line with Turkey’s aspiration to be a member of the European Union. This paper presents a historical frame and breaking points for citizenship education in Turkey from its foundation to the present. It critically examines paradoxical content of the current citizenship and human rights education curriculum.