Ministry opens investigation into teacher’s death, as colleagues skip class
Teachers from the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) did not attend the first class of the day on April 6, in protest of the governor. CİHAN PhotoTurkish Education Minister Nabi Avcı has demanded an investigation into the death of a teacher who died of a heart attack in western Yalova province soon after the governor reprimanded him for his physical appearance at the school, while teachers did not attend their first classes in memory of their colleague.
Halil Serkan Öz, an award-winning mathematics teacher at Termal Science High School in Yalova, was harshly criticized by Governor Selim Cebiroğlu in front of his students on March 27, the Anadolu Agency reported.
“What’s this hair, this beard? What kind of teacher are you? People who see you in the street would think that you are a beggar,” Cebiroğlu was quoted by Turkish media as saying to Öz.
Teachers from the Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) did not attend the first class of the day on April 6, in protest of the governor.
Avcı called Öz’s family on the phone and conveyed his condolences. The minister also demanded a detailed investigation into the incident.
Öz, who attended a demonstration on April 3 against the governor’s “insult” on him, suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack while marching on Gazipaşa Avenue, Doğan News Agency reported. He died in the ambulance while being transferred to a hospital in neighboring Bursa province, according to the report.
Öz, who recently went through a divorce and was reportedly depressed by the governor’s reaction, was once given an award by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).
Cebiroğlu, on the other hand, released a message of condolence on April 4. “As Yalova, we feel deep sadness over the death of Science High School teacher Halil Serkan Öz, who was an invaluable member of our education community,” he said.
“The governor can be at ease now, as my son has died,” the late teacher’s father, Kemal Öz, said April 4, according to Cihan News Agency.