Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded harshly to a series of questions regarding issues concerning the appointment of teachers, the recent education reforms, and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in a recent TV interview.
Erdoğan criticized the portrayal of the appointment of teachers in the media, accusing journalists of "abusing emotions."
"[The media] place really disturbing titles on everything," Erdoğan said. "'Shattered families.' When you put that in the title it just abuses people's emotions."
The previous arrangements with regard to teacher hiring resulted in heavy employment in the Western regions, while Eastern regions lacked the necessary officials, Erdoğan said, adding that while teachers' salaries have remained the same, their income has increased due to additional payments under the rule of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The prime minister also commented on those parents who have been seeking medical reports to exempt their children from beginning school at the early age required by the recent 4+4+4 reform.
"I gravely deplore the parents," Erdoğan said."Why? They say, 'My child is slow.' What, that two months is supposed to [get your child up to speed]?" The new school-starting age of 66 months was selected by AKP officials following studies on the issue, Erdoğan said.
Was he really kidnapped?
The prime minister then moved on the issue of BDP deputies shown in a recent photo embracing alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
"I do not recognize those deputies," Erdoğan said. "That picture cannot be easily accepted."
Erdoğan also spoke about the recent kidnapping of opposition deputy Hüseyin Aygün's kidnapping by members of the PKK, calling Aygün's statements "quite interesting."
"Did they really kidnapped him? He returned after two days. He has not called them terrorists even once," Erdogan said. "The testimony is troubled at its core."
The prime minister further claimed the public believed the kidnapping to be a planned stunt. "We ran surveys on this," Erdoğan said. "54.7 percent believe it was planned by both sides. Only 21 percent believe it was a security breach."