Issues in Implementation of Coeducation in Turkish Education System: A Historical Research on 1869 Statute on General Education

  •  Selman Kamer    


Though the Imperial Edict of Gülhane, which is regarded as the real beginning of modernization in the Ottoman Empire, does not contain any direct article on education, Tanzimat (Reorganization of the Ottoman Empire) and the process following it directly affected the education system in the country. The boards formed and the regulations issued in that period were of great importance. Maarif-i Umumiye Nizamnamesi (Statute on General Education) prepared by 7-person committee led by the Minister of Education Saffet Pasha under the influence of the French education system and published on the 1st of September 1869 is a comprehensive text regulating education. This statute, which consists of 198 articles, involves teacher training and placement, determination of school stages, principles about inspection and assessment, educational administration, right to education, training allowances, provincial organization, testing system, and so on. Coeducation was not a problem in the Ottoman Empire because girls were allowed to receive only primary education. With the 15th article of the Statute on General Education, coeducation was prohibited. However, some documents in the state archives prove that some schools and practices disobeyed this ban. That indicates that not every law introduced was enforced across the country. This may have been because decisions were implemented differently in different cities or regions due to the non-equality of conditions.

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