Amid never-ending debates as to whether Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a university degree, Justice and Development Party (AKP) İstanbul deputy Metin Külünk has said politics are not done with a diploma and that the prophets did not have diplomas, either.
Featuring a photo of Erdoğan at a public rally in a message from his Twitter account on Thursday, Külünk wrote: “Politics cannot be done with a diploma; a diploma is just a tool for a man in a struggle who touches the hearts of the people. If there is anyone who says one cannot represent the nation if they do not have a diploma, they should read the history of the prophets. Big struggles have been made by brave men whose names are unknown and who do not have a diploma but who have hearts and sincerity.”
There has been an ongoing debate since Erdoğan’s election in 2014 as to his completion or not of university since the Office of the President has provided no satisfactory documentation of his graduation.
The debate about whether Erdoğan has a university diploma was rekindled in the first days of July 2016 with former head of the Association for the Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV) Ömer Faruk Eminağaoğlu applying to the country’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) for a repeat of the presidential election on the grounds that Erdoğan did not have a university degree.
A university degree is a prerequisite for presidential office in Turkey.
The debate on Erdoğan’s diploma was shelved after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Despite several calls for Erdoğan to produce an original copy of his four-year college degree to prove that he qualifies to be president, no evidence has been forthcoming proving the completion of his studies.
It has been argued that the diploma query system of Marmara University, the college Erdoğan attended, was shut down by a court verdict on July 18, 2014.
Despite challenges for Erdoğan to introduce his college classmates, there have not been any, while Erdoğan often refers to his high-school classmates.