The data revealed… Investing in the mosque, not in education

The data on the number of mosques and schools in Turkey revealed the government’s view of education. According to the data of the Presidency of Religious Affairs, the total number of mosques in Turkey as of the end of 2021 was recorded as 89 thousand 817. However, data show that the number of mosques has been increasing steadily since 2013. Accordingly, the number of mosques in 2011 was 82 thousand 693. In 2021, it increased to 89 thousand 817. The 10-year increase was 7,124.

The total number of neighborhoods in Turkey is 32 thousand 194. With 964 districts, Istanbul is the province with the highest number of mosques with 3 thousand 555. Ankara, which has 1425 neighborhoods, and Konya, which has 1154 neighborhoods, are among the provinces with more than 3 thousand mosques. In other words, there are at least three mosques in every neighborhood in Istanbul, Ankara and Konya.


However, the same data was not experienced in the number of schools. According to the official statistics of the Ministry of National Education (MEB), the number of public schools in the 2011-2012 academic year was recorded as 41 thousand 761. Although this number increased to 55 thousand 224 in the 2013-2014 period, it started to decline despite the criticism of dual education and crowded classrooms. The number of public schools decreased to 52 thousand 33 in the 2014-2015 period and to 51 thousand 620 in the 2015-2016 period. The number, which was 53 thousand in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 periods, remained at 54 thousand in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 periods. Finally, according to the Ministry of National Education, which announced the data for 2020-2021, the number of schools decreased to 53 thousand 620 compared to the previous period. While the number of public schools decreased by 1604 between 2013-2021, the decrease in the last year was 1095. In this process, the number of private schools increased every year.

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