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Turkish Cypriot teachers miffed after halloumi called ‘cheese’ in textbook

north textbook, non-secular
Back in August, teachers criticised textbooks which were devised by the north’s ‘education ministry’ for containing “non-secular” content

Turkish Cypriot teachers expressed their displeasure after it emerged on Thursday that halloumi had been described as “halloumi cheese” in a school textbook.

The offending textbook was the first grade life sciences textbook.

Cyprus Turkish teachers’ union (Ktos) general secretary Burak Mavish addressed the textbook’s writers in a social media post, saying “if you don’t know, don’t eat it”.

Meanwhile, teacher Funda Gorcek Hossoz said “I’m really fed up. There is so much submissiveness, so much incompetence, so much carelessness.”

The news also reached the Turkish Cypriot press, with Yeni Duzen describing the use of the phrase “halloumi cheese” as a “scandalous error”.

The halloumi terminology is the latest in a series of controversies regarding school textbooks in the north this academic year.

Back in August, teachers criticised textbooks, which were devised by the north’s ‘education ministry’ in collaboration with its Turkish counterpart, for containing “non-secular” content.

One textbook caused controversy after a “teacher” was depicted as a woman wearing a hijab, while another textbook listed India and Palestine as “examples of family relations in different countries”.

One teacher criticised the choice of India and Palestine, saying “these are being described because of their high birth rate, male-dominated family structures, and the fact that brides to be cannot have rights without having children”.

Responding to the criticism, ‘education minister’ Nazim Cavusoglu had said “we stand by this book. If there was something in there that really disturbed society, I would intervene.”

He also described the controversy as “a storm in a teacup”.

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