With its imperial past, nationalist tradition, past westernization attempts, inverse ori-entalism toward populations from the East, and current neo-Ottomanist policies, Turkey presents an interesting case in which to examine the ideologies underlying its education system. Turkish schools began receiving a large number of Syrian refugees following the outbreak of the Syrian War in 2011. How does Turkey seek to absorb these former subjects of the Ottoman empire politically, discursively, and socioculturally into its national body po-litic, and more specifically into the education system, in light of shifting relations with Arabs and changing representation of the Arabic language and culture? Based on literature review and interviews with Syrians, state officials, and NGO representatives in Istanbul between 2017 and 2020, this study demonstrates that while there is strong emphasis on shared religious and cultural ties, Syrians are still expected to assimilate, similar to other historically minoritized populations in Turkey, albeit with some peculiarities. These peculiarities stem from increased prominence of the Arabic language through the Islamization project of the present government, international funding for the accommodation of refugees, and the economic relations the government seeks with Arab countries. © 2023 Comparative and International Education Society. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1086/725440
ISSN: 00104086