Turkey’s Erdoğan lambastes Council of State over student oath decision he dislikes


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lambasted the Council of State, which recently issued a decision reinstating the daily recitation of a student oath in Turkish schools, during a meeting at his palace in Ankara attended by the chairperson and members of the Council of State on Wednesday.

He implied that the Council of State ruling was trying to hinder implementation of the “national will.”

The Turkish government lifted the obligation to recite the student oath before entering classrooms in late 2013 due to its ultranationalist and exclusionary content.

Two days ago the 8th Chamber of the Council of State ruled to overturn the government decision, translating into reinstatement of the obligation to recite the oath.

“Where were you for the last five years?” Erdoğan asked the judges, “We have been awaiting fast and fair rulings from you.”

The chairwoman of the Council of State, Zerrin Güngör, said at the same meeting that it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing judicial process.

Erdoğan had previously criticized the Council of State ruling as interference in government affairs.

On Wednesday the Ministry of Education appealed the ruling.

Erdoğan had also exchanged barbs with his ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), over the student oath.

Opposition parties and the MHP support recitation of the student oath in schools. The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) is opposed to it.

According to a newly introduced executive presidential system, the president can issue executive orders without legislation being passed by parliament.

An unofficial translation of the student oath is as follows:

“I’m a Turk

I’m righteous

I’m hardworking

My principle is to protect my juniors; to respect my elders; to love my country and my nation more than myself

My law is to rise; to go forward.

O’ supreme Atatürk,

I swear that I will walk non-stop on the path you opened, on the target you pointed to,

On the ideal you founded,

Let my existence be bestowed upon the Turkish existence,

Happy is he who calls himself a Turk.” (turkishminute.com)

Stockholm Center for Freedom

Germany to ban fascist Turkish salute

9 October 2018

German politicians plan to pass legislation banning the ultra-nationalist salute of the Turkish Grey Wolves movement.

Lawmakers in Berlin say the “wolf” hand salute that is a trademark of membership of the Grey Wolves is reminiscent of salute used by Adolf Hilter and his followers in Nazi Germany, Deutsche Welle reported.

“Any form of fascism is inhuman and a threat to our liberal society,” said Christian Democrat (CDU) politician Christoph de Vries to the German daily Bild.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU have secured the cooperation of the Left party to outlaw the gesture in a rare show of unity, the German news service said. The Austrian government is working on similar legislation.

The salute caused controversy in Germany last year when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu used it during a visit to the Turkish consulate in Hamburg, Deutsche Welle said. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also used it during electioneering.

The Grey Wolves are an offshoot of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which supports Erdogan’s government. They rose to prominence in street violence in the months preceding a military coup in 1980, when the group engaged in deadly clashes with leftist groups and Kurds.

Another Turkish celebrity to use the salute is Fatih Terim, manager of Turkish football side Galatasaray and former national team coach. The Grey Wolves are also synonymous with Mafia activities in Turkey, including drug smuggling, and the illegal killings of Kurds and other perceived opponents of Turkish state policy.