The Assad regime’s Ministry of Education is in the process of making changes to some of the historical terminologies used in describing the Ottoman era of history in textbooks being used by students in Syrian schools.
The planned changes for students in “Assad’s Syria” will be in the 2016-2017 edition of history books in which the first change will be the cancellation of the adjective “Fatih” which translates as “Conqueror” for the Ottoman sultan who is responsible for the conquest and subsequent development of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople.
In the Assad version of history, Sultan Mehmet Fatih will be simply referred to as “Mehmet II” after the removal of the word “Conqueror.”
The changes were made after the receipt of an official letter addressed to the “Ministry of Assad Education” instructing them to “edit textbooks before printing” according to a list of unacceptable terms and the “appropriate” replacements that was included in the letter.
In one of the changes which will be made to the eighth-grade intermediate history book, we find the following: “and we show the importance of the conquest of Constantinople” has been changed to “and we show the importance of the seizure of Constantinople.”
Likewise, all references to “The conquest of Constantinople” become “The fall of Constantinople” or “The entering of Constantinople.”
In addition, every place the word “Fatih” appears, the context of the text will be changed by replacing all references to the “conquest” of the Ottomans to an “entry” or a “seizure”.
Thus, the formula changes from “the Ottoman conquest” to “the Ottoman entry” or “the Ottoman seizure” in history according to the “Ministry of Assad Education”.
Accordingly, all references to Othman Sultan, Mehmet the Conqueror, entailed a radical change to become in any context “Mehmet II” by deleting the reference to the title of conqueror.
Even the history of the Balkans was not exempt from the changes wherein the “conquering of the Balkans” becomes “the entering of the Balkans” and likewise all regions “conquered by the Ottomans” have become, regions “seized by the Ottomans.”
The textbook edits follow in the wake of a July 28 discussion in the socialist Assad parliament of the cancellation of religion as a subject for study in Syrian schools at all grade levels including university.
The Assad regime’s Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun, was the first to advocate the abolition of religion as a subject for study in Syrian schools in late 2013.
Is it too soon to wonder when Assad will once again be editing the history books to include himself as “Savior” of Syria?