HDP questions education minister amid row over Erdoğan’s diploma

HDP questions education minister amid row over Erdoğan’s diploma

HDP questions education minister amid row over Erdoğan’s diploma

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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy parliamentary group co-chair İdris Baluken has addressed a parliamentary question to Education Minister İsmet Yılmaz, asking him to clarify the mystery surrounding the validity of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s university diploma.

Baluken submitted a parliamentary question to the parliamentary speaker’s office, requesting Yılmaz to answer eight questions regarding Erdoğan’s undergraduate diploma from Marmara University’s Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences amid an ongoing debate over whether the president was actually a university graduate.

The debate has legal implications, as Article 101 of Turkey’s constitution states that the country’s president has to be chosen among citizens over 40 years of age who have a higher education diploma. 

“The fact that the faculty [from where Erdoğan graduated] was established in 1983 even though the diploma released by the YSK [Supreme Election Board] says Erdoğan graduated in 1981 further supports the allegations,” Baluken said in his question, asking whether the Education Ministry planned to respond to the claims. 

“Is there a way to explain issuing a diploma/duplicate to Erdoğan from Marmara University, established in 1982, and the university’s Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, established in 1983, even though it has been said that [Erdoğan] completed his education in February 1981?” Baluken said, also asking whether an investigation has been launched by the ministry to look into the allegations. 

A notarized copy of Erdoğan’s diploma examined by Baluken was shared with the HDP by the YSK upon the party’s request on June 10. The party said its legal applications to challenge the validity of the diploma will continue. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli also addressed a question regarding the debate during a press conference on June 13, where he defined the allegations as “ill-intentioned.”

“Mr. President’s diploma was shared with the public numerous times. There is not the slightest uncertainty over this issue,” he said, adding research was conducted on these diplomas in addition to criminal investigations.

“Debates that continue despite all these facts are ill-intentioned and immoral,” Canikli told members of the press.