The Ministry of Education has recently decided to remove the traditional concept of seven geographic regions in Turkey from high school geography textbooks.
The Marmara, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Aegean, Mediterranean, Southeast and East regions, enshrined in geography textbooks at the First Turkish Geography Congress in 1941 to differentiate geographic characteristics between regions across Turkey, will be replaced with a new categorization that has yet to be agreed.
The ministry had been considering a new categorization or possibly doing away with the classification altogether in order to eliminate confusion and the misrepresentation of physical and political geography of the seven regions.
Recent studies of the geographic characteristics of Turkey were incongruent with the categories and classifications referred to in geography textbooks. It was found to be a cause for confusion about the understanding of the physical characteristics of a region when it came to preparing statistics.
The categorization of the seven regions had nothing with administrative and political boundaries or held any other meaning. The regions only existed in textbooks and the daily language of people and the media. The use of regional boundaries did not have relevance in government or other political forms.
It was found the regions had no unique trend in climatic features or geographic characteristics within themselves, and marking borders between regions was really not possible because of the overlap of climatic and geographic characteristics across the accepted regions. In addition, the political geography did not fit with the maps of some cities. For instance, the province of Bilecik is located in the Marmara region according to textbooks, but in reality its districts are located across the four regions of the Black Sea, Central Anatolia, the Marmara and the Aegean. There are more examples like Bilecik.
The descriptions of regions were inconsistent with reality. For example, the Aegean region has different climatic trends that are inconsistent with the data currently presented in textbooks. The terrestrial climate in some parts are as expected in the Aegean region, but the coastal areas of the region have more Mediterranean climatic features.
"The old classification system doesn't make sense in understanding geographic regions across Turkey. The Aegean region does not have a single unique characteristic in that sense, nor does any other region. When the point comes to borders, it is a total mess. For example, the Balıkesir city center falls within the region of the Marmara, while most of its districts fall in the Aegean region," said Hakan Öcal , the editor of Geography Publications (a general description. he deals with geography books) of Sürat Publications, speaking to Cihan news agency.
CihanLast Mod: 22 Eylül 2011, 17:59