An Example of Distortion in Turkish Social Studies and History Textbooks: Slavery

Ayten Kiriş Avaroğulları, Muhammet Avaroğulları


This study focuses on how issues of slavery are discussed in the social studies and history textbooks in Turkey. A
total of 16 textbooks were examined. 7 of these books were published by the Ministry of National Education and
others by various private publishers. A qualitative research design is adopted and the data were classified according
to the themes that emerged during the process of the researchers' familiarity with the subject. The findings show that
slavery issues are either distorted or omitted in textbooks. The first one of the distortions and omissions in the
textbooks is that slavery is reflected as if it were only experienced in western societies. Secondly, the textbooks
present an image that Islam banned slavery and hence, it is implied that slavery did not take place in Turkish history.
Another distortion or deficiency is the presentation of slavery as a problem of distant past. Finally, slavery is
presented as a situation only black people were subjected. The findings required a two-way discussion. Therefore,
firstly, identity issues are discussed within the framework of social identity theory. Finally, suggestions were made
on what to do in these and similar situations in the textbooks.

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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