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Turkish teacher appeals cancelation of assignment over protest attendance

The deaths of Ali İsmail Korkmaz in 2013 and Özgecan Arslan in 2015 were widely protested in Turkey.

A teacher has appealed the cancelation of his assignment to a public school by the Turkish Education Ministry due to his attendance at street protests in the past, the Hürriyet daily reported on Monday.

Ömer Ekinci was assigned to a public school in Diyarbakır province in July, but the governor’s office sent a document to the Education Ministry three months later, stressing that a security check on Ekinci produced negative results.

The ministry canceled his assignment on Oct. 25.

When he appealed to a court in Ankara, the ministry accused him of attending two public protests in 2015, an accusation based on a police report.

One of the protests was for Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who died as a victim of police brutality during the Gezi Park protests of 2013.

Another was in Sakarya, where protesters marched for Özgecan Arslan, who was raped and killed in 2015.

“Ali İsmail was murdered, and the punishment was not satisfactory. I protested that. I won’t even mention the Özgecan Arslan incident. I was there to raise awareness,” Ekinci said in his defense at the appeals court.

The police report on him also implied that he was affiliated with terrorist groups.

Ekinci’s appeal is pending in a higher court.

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