World Bulletin / News Desk
A school principal who discriminated against headscarved students, including the top student in the school, due to their headscarves at their graduation ceremony in Adana was suspended on Thursday.
The top student, Tuğba Demir, was banned from coming to the podium to receive her award because she wears a headscarf, while three other headscarved students were ordered by the school's principal, Ayla Avşar, to sit at the back of the hall while the graduation ceremony took place.
The incident happened at the Adana İhsan Sabancı Girls' High School earlier this week. An investigation was launched into the incident following an order from Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş, as a result of which Avşar was suspended. Adana Provincial Education Director Mehmet Ali Selamet confirmed the suspension of the school's principal, adding an inspector had been commissioned to investigate the incident further.
In the meantime, yet another headscarved student at a university in İzmir faced discrimination when her professor asked her to leave the final exam she was taking. Zeynep Çebi, a third-year student in the department of philosophy of the Aegean University in İzmir, was forced to leave the classroom by Professor Sabri Sürgevil as she was taking a final exam.
Çebi said she took the “history of civilization” course offered by Sürgevil as an elective. “I was taking the final exam. The professor came and said it was impossible for me to take the exam in such a way [while wearing a headscarf]. He yanked the exam paper from in front of me. I had to leave the classroom,” Çebi said.
Two male students also left the classroom in protest of the actions of the professor.
Abdullah Sidar and Yusuf Gezer said they also left the classroom in a show of support for Çebi. Until 2010, headscarved students were not able to attend university due to a strict ban on the use of headscarves.
The ban was eased by a circular sent to universities by the Higher Education Board (YÖK). However, some university administrations and lecturers still refuse to allow headscarved students to attend university.