Three personnel at Turkey’s Batman University suspended after ‘face veil’ incident
Gülseven Özkan – ISTANBUL
The incident occurred in the southeastern province of Batman. Batman University Rector Aydın Durmuş sent an official letter to the Dean’s Office of the Islamic Science Faculty, demanding to carry the relevant procedures into effect for unidentified students who wore a face veil against university regulations.
“At the University’s Western Raman Campus, many people have seen students whose faces are completely covered by a face veil and glasses and whose identities cannot be clearly understood. This has caused anxiety and unease among students,” the statement said.
This incident stirred a debate for “intervening in students’ dress.”
The Higher Education Board (YÖK) announced they had started an investigation into the incident, highlighting that the incident was “very fragile.”
Following the incident, the academic personnel and the two officers were suspended from their duties for allegedly “leaking the correspondence.”
An application was also made to YÖK to carry the necessary procedures into effect against faculty dean Mustafa Nuri Türkmen, according to a university official.
The university official also stated that the incident had been wrongly reflected to press.
“It was not a process initiated by the rectorship, as was reflected to the press. We received a message from the dean. They said ‘There are people walking around with veils. We do not know whether they are students or not.’ The rector responded with ‘Do what you have to do,’” the official said.
“The official correspondence has been shared with the media, particularly social media, by university personnel. In this case, people in veils may not be students. We do not even know if they were really women or not. A lecturer, the secretary of the faculty and an officer leaked the correspondence. So we have suspended them from their duties on behalf of the investigation,” the official added.