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Traditional Turkish wedding, Screenshot from YouTube
Siegburg

‘Turk marries cousin’ – Dispute erupts over German high school philosophy task

A philosophy teacher at the high school in Alleestraße, Siegburg in North Rhine-Westphalia, was under the impression that children were sent to school to acquire knowledge that would prepare them for the future.

Published: February 14, 2022, 8:21 am

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    The philosophy instructor gave his students the following task:

    “A Turkish father in Germany married his daughter to his brother’s son without her consent in order to secure a residence permit for Germany and thus a livelihood for him. Discuss the situation with your table neighbor. What conflicts do you see in it?”

    The genetic structure of present-day Anatolia was shaped by historical and modern-day migrations, high levels of admixture, and notably inbreeding. The latter custom is currently being imported into Germany. A study of 55 175 marriages in Turkey, conducted from 1970 to 1987, showed an overall rate of consanguineous marriage of 21,21 percent (mostly first-cousin liaisons).

    The discussion at hand in the classroom continued to question so-called “universal” values. “An ethics for all cultures? – Opening up the problem in the field of tension between cultural relativism and universalism.”

    But the Dortmund-based “Federation of Turkish Parents’ Associations in North Rhine-Westphalia” (FÖTEV) got wind of the matter. Its stance on the topic did not differ much from the Marxist “Education and Science Union” or for that matter the current German Ministry of Education.

    In an open letter to the NRW Ministry of Education, the FÖTEV based in Dortmund was “stunned”. The task “uses the vocabulary of right-wing populists” they complained.

    The usual charade of mea culpas kicked off and the school had to publicly ask for forgiveness for its terrible sins. It expressly apologized on its website. But for FÖTEV, that did not go far enough and they threatened the school anyway. It’s vice president Ali Sak told German daily Bild: “A teacher can make mistakes. Obviously. But if the school management does not explicitly distance itself from the task, we see no basis for respectful cooperation in the school in the future.”

    According to a spokesman for the district government of Cologne, the headmistress said she would be open to dialogue and added that the task “was taken out of context” even though it had been taken “from a school book approved in NRW”.

    The philosophy teacher can count himself lucky if he gets out of this situation relatively unscathed as charges of racism are now likely to follow.

    “The Gymnasium Siegburg Alleestraße has been a member of ‘School without Racism’ for almost 20 years, and we take that seriously as a duty and obligation. We are an open, tolerant and international school. It will stay that way. Should someone feel disadvantaged or treated unfairly because of their origin, sexual orientation or membership of a minority: We are there and we will fight against it together. Always and for everyone,” the school said in a statement.

    Several teachers and the headmistress, were photographed holding up a piece of paper for the camera. The message was: “At our school we value and live diversity. We strictly reject any form of racism, sexism, prejudice or any other form of discrimination.”

    Remarkably, the FÖTEV has not even tried to claim that there have been no forced marriages of Turkish girls by their fathers in Germany. They are more worried about a discussion of such a matter.

    And all the “educated” cosmopolitan participants in the hunt for the Siegburg philosophy teacher do not think it necessary to say a single word about inbreeding either.

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