>CERME8 (The Eighth Congress of the European Society for >Research in Mathematics Education) will take place at >Antalya, Turkey: 6th to 10th February 2013 >(http://www.cerme8.metu.edu.tr).
Fascinating that Jerry should submit this particular item, while the multiculturalism discussion is ongoing.
The Turkish Empire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_empire offers a superb subject for the study of multiculturalism. Created in a series of bloody military conquests over several centuries, at its height the empire stretched from Vienna in the north to Yemen in the south, from Algeria in the east to Persia in the west. The list of "cultures" within the empire is dizzying: Berbers, Arabs, Copts, Assyrians, Greeks, Armenians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Kurds, Azeris, Slovenians, Serbs, Albanians. No doubt, I missed a few.
Especially interesting to us is the Turkish system for administering this "diverse" empire. This system was known as "Millet", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millet_system which, to modern eyes, appears as the very model of multiculturalism.
How did this Millet System work out for the ethnes? Not well.
Recall that Anatolia had been Greek for 2,000 yrs before the advent of the Turks, and it had been Christian for at least 1,000 yrs before the advent of Islam. After centuries of multicultural celebration, there are few Christians and fewer Greeks to be found anywhere in Anatolia. Indeed, once Greece won its independence from Turkey (gosh, why did they do that?), we see
"Compulsory" is such a benign word ("compulsory education", eg) one can forget what it really means: armed men breaking down your door and dragging away your screaming children (or dragging you away from your screaming children).
But, let's not be Euro-centric about this. Lots of other ethnes in the Turkish Empire had their share of multicultural fun. Who can forget the Armenians?
- ------------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide Armenian Genocide ...the systematic extermination of the Armenian population from its historic homeland in Asia Minor by the Ottoman government. - --------------------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurdish%E2%80%93Turkish_conflict The Kurdish?Turkish conflict is an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and various Kurdish insurgent groups, which have demanded separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan, or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds inside the Republic of Turkey. - ---------------------
Romanian resistance to Turkish invasion, lead by Vlad III, was so bloody that Vlad became known as Vlad Tepes, "Vlad The Impaler"
Oh! I am sorry. When it comes to multicultural celebrations, one can go on.
Finally, I can hear the objection that it is the propensity to nationalism that is at the root of all the blood-letting, not multiculturalism. That may be so, but the multicultis will then have to explain
(a) why was the process of creating the tolerant, multicultural Turkish empire so bloody, and
(b) why, after several centuries of tolerance, did this multicultural "salad bowl" of ethnicities dissolve in blood (and the blood is flowing, still)?
The very kindest thing I can say about the multiculturalists is that they are playing with fire. I wonder, will we even get an apology when we all get burned? Or will the response be, "Who knew?" http://youtu.be/vB6M3iDzhIg (BTW, in this video, Biden is telling us, in 2009, how well he is managing the economy. [Kirby, we are in 2012.])