Turkey is situated between east and west. It has a history of 80 years as a republic, founded by Atatiirk who ensured that the country was shorn of its old customs and ideas and turned instead to the west. It is currently amending its laws to become eligible for consideration for entry to the EU. There are great inequalities between different areas of the country in terms of access to education and health care. The economy is emerging from a period of high inflation and the repayment of high levels of loan. The population is pyramidal, with 40% below the age of 18, thus putting a strain on the country's limited financial resources. Some aspects of the system provide excellent models, which are prevented by various constraints from being implemented nationwide. The picture is one of fragmentation. New structures may be superimposed on old systems to suit the aims of a particular government. Meanwhile the high number of young people have to be supported in their education and training. The chapter discusses the political, social, and economic factors which affect education, then considers recent changes in three strands in the education system, and relates them to the factors above: the system itself, teacher education, and the curriculum. The chapter ends by discussing the systemic implications of changes.

In: Education Reform in Societies in Transition