The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Turkey union hits at 'hate crime' school books


ISTANBUL (AFP) - A Turkish education union pressed on Monday for the impounding of a series of books mocking non-Muslim historical figures that were given out at several Istanbul schools last month, accusing the editor of "hate crime".

"The books include phrases that are unscientific, anti-Semitic, anti-Armenian and humiliate Christians, non-religious people and people with a left-wing philosophy," read a statement released by the Egitim-Sen union.

The legal complaint was filed after parents notified Egitim-Sen of the 15 books titled "Big Steps Biographical Series," which were distributed free to some 1,000 elementary school children in Istanbul's central Maltepe district.

"We want the books impounded, and all those responsible held accountable for their part in their distribution into the hands of 10-year-old children," said Mr Mehmet Aydogan, chief of the union's Istanbul bureau which filed the charges.