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Map distributed to Istanbul schools redraws borders of Turkey

Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=map-distributed-to-istanbul-schools-redraw-borders-of-turkey-2009-09-30




Photo: Nikos Manginas

A CD prepared by Istanbul’s provincial education directorate has redrawn the map of Turkey to include parts of northern Iraq.

The mistake shocked even the directorate itself and placed education officials in an awkward situation as it comes just after Education Ministry school books got the dates of some national days wrong.

The ministry on Wednesday ordered that the CDs be taken back from schools and parents who had received them, it was reported. 

A CD was distributed to schools as part of the parent education project and on it the map of Turkey included the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk in northern Iraq as being within Turkey’s borders. It also shows the island of Cyprus and Armenia as part of Turkey. Parts of Georgia and Bulgaria have also been depicted as within Turkey’s borders.

The project was prepared during the tenure of former Istanbul education director, Ata Özer, and the discrepancies have shocked current director Muammer Yıldız.

The map mistake compounds the embarrassment from schoolbooks prepared by the Education Ministry and distributed free of charge to students also have some very glaring errors. The occasion of Victory Day on Aug. 30 is omitted and an incorrect date is cited for Children and National Sovereignty Day, celebrated on April 23. The day has been marked as April 29 in the books.

“Such a map is unacceptable. It is a big mistake that can create unnecessary debate. I am very sad,” said Yıldız, who initiated an inquiry into the matter.

Yıldız said the information was compiled from various sources but that no one noticed the discrepancies until after it was sent to all Istanbul schools was even more shocking.

“It can’t be used as an excuse that the map escaped the attention of our people working on the project. I wish it hadn’t happened. But someone from among us should have spotted it and warned us,” said Yıldız.

Istanbul was chosen as the pilot province to rate the effectiveness of the project. The aim is to educate parents on various issues, ranging from first aid to how to deal with children, prior to the start of the school term. It was carried out during the week before schools started alongside the “getting used to school” program for children about to begin their education. Around 230,000 children began their first year of primary school in the province of Istanbul this year.

The objective was to have an orientation week for all of these children and their parents.


Abbas Güçlü



Article published in English on: 2-10-2009.

Last update: 2-10-2009.