Teachers asked political questions in job interviews following purge

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Minister of Education İsmet Yılmaz

Applicants for teaching positions in Ankara, seeking to replace some of the thousands of teachers who were dismissed in a massive purge following a failed coup on July 15, were asked political questions that have nothing to do with their profession, a Turkish daily reported.

Cumhuriyet reporter Sinan Tartaroğlu’s story revealed that the interviews included questions on politically controversial and divisive issues such as their choice of columnists and newspapers, their thoughts on the July 15 coup attempt, the highlights of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest speech or their feelings about critical leftist actor Tarık Akan, who recently passed away.

According to some candidates, the list of people who will be selected has already been determined as a number of them were reportedly not even asked any questions except their name, hometown and the schools they graduated from. Following the interview, some candidates called for the resignation of Minister of Education İsmet Yılmaz.

Following a massive purge of teachers within the ministry in the post-coup period, 15,000 candidates applied for interviews to replace their colleagues who were dismissed from their jobs without due process.

The interviewees were also asked who they think of when they hear the word “chief,” a label that Erdoğan supporters use to praise him.

They were also asked which prep school they attended as some answers are considered a sign of being a sympathizer of the Gülen movement, which ran a large network of educational institutions prior to Erdoğan’s relentless witch-hunt.

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