A teacher of 17 years, Seçil Esmenur Erdem, was dismissed from her job by the Education Ministry after being convicted of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and throwing eggs at his convoy during the president’s visit to Trabzon province in 2013.
An investigation was launched against the 42-year-old teacher on charges of insulting Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, and throwing eggs at his convoy on Nov. 23, 2013. Erdem was released pending trial and later ordered to pay a TL 7,800 fine by the Trabzon 2nd Criminal Court of Peace.
The Ministry of Education’s Higher Inspection Board (YDK) also launched an administrative investigation against the teacher.
Seçil Esmenur Erdem. (Photo: DHA)
According to media reports the YDK recently completed its investigation and unanimously decided to dismiss Erdem from her job. In the decision, delivered by the YDK on Sept. 30 of this year, the board said it had decided to dismiss the teacher from her job for “using words that include curses against then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and for throwing eggs at him.”
The decision of the YDK was sent to Erdem’s school, Kireçhane Middle School in the Ortahisar district of Trabzon.
Erdem had been suspended for a time during the administrative investigation, but she eventually returned to work.
Head of the Education Personnel Union (Eğitim-Sen) Trabzon branch Mehmet Ekici claimed that the correct punishment for the charges directed at Erdem do not include being dismissed. He said the teacher’s union will apply to all the relevant courts, including the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) if necessary, to protect the rights of Erdem, who Ekici believes has suffered an injustice.
Speaking during a press conference held on Wednesday, Ekici said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is “using the statehood power as an instrument of persecution against its own citizens.” Ekici also said that a sense of justice and rule of law has been decreasing day by day in Turkey, labeling the YDK’s decision against Erdem as one that is politically motivated.