World Bulletin / News Desk
An İzmir court has handed down a prison sentence to a Turkish professor from Ege University after he repeatedly blocked headscarved women from entering the faculty building where he worked.
The court accused the professor of infringing on citizens' constitutional right of access to education and sentenced him to over two years in prison.
The professor, Esat Rennan Pekünlü, from the university's department of astronomy and space sciences, was caught on camera in May taking photographs of headscarved students and preventing them from entering the building.
The Higher Education Board (YÖK) lifted a ban on the wearing of the Muslim headscarf on university campuses in 2010. However, some universities continue to impose the notorious ban. Opponents of the ban, including conservatives and many liberal intellectuals, think that such a ban contravenes fundamental rights as it deprives some citizens of their right to education.
Pekünlü was captured by cameramen of the Cihan news agency while he was standing at the door of his faculty building and taking photos of headscarved students. Cameramen had arrived at the faculty after some students tipped them off that the professor was violating the rights of women wearing headscarves at their university.
Pekünlü repeatedly blocked those students from entering the building when they tried to attend their classes. He would, however, pay no attention to male students or female students who were not wearing headscarves.
The Ege University administration had earlier announced that an investigation had been launched into the professor's actions. In October 2010, YÖK sent a circular to university administrations, asking them not to send students away from class or campus for wearing the headscarf.
The İzmir 4th Criminal Court of First Instance charged the professor with violating the privacy of the Fatma Nur Gidal -- one of the women he prevented from entering the building and the plaintiff in the case -- as well as violating her right to access to education.
Gidal's lawyer demanded the maximum prison sentence for the professor and asked the court not to postpone the punishment, as he had previously been charged with similar crimes.
Pekünlü's lawyer cited a 2008 decision by Turkey's Constitutional Court upholding headscarf bans in universities, as well as a 2004 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that said such bans do not violate freedom of religion.
Speaking following the decision, Gidal said she was not able to enter the building, let alone the classrooms. She said she had no choice but to file the complaint against her professor.
President-elect Erdogan has his first visit abroad scheduled in September to the Turkish side of the divided island, followed soon by a trip to Azerbaijan.
Kurdish regional government’s finance minister says the administration's revenue from oil sales via Turkey totals $170 million so far.
Simulatenous raids across Turkey saw 11 police officers arrested for alleged involvement in wiretapping scandal.
Turkish dailies' front pages were heavily dominated Friday by the nomination of Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, as new prime minister, thus succeeding President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey imported 45.2 billion cubic meters of natural gas last year, a 1.42 percent decrease on 2012.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will take over as the Prime Minister of the country and chairman of the ruling AK Party from outgoing president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Davutoglu has played a crucial role in Turkish foreign policy for more than a decade
Media claims that Turkey will hand over the Suleiman Shah base in Syria to the Islamic State (IS) in return for the release of 49 Turkish consulate staff kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul since June are an example of "irresponsibility", said Ankara.
“We are aiming to double our shares in the projects following years” said Turkish energy minister Taner Yildiz.
Today's newspapers covered claims that Germany's foreign intelligence agency has been spying on Turkey, further speculation on Turkey's future prime minister and President Barack Obama's comments on the killing of American journalist James Foley.
A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry urged the United States to respect press freedom.
An "anti-terrorism" campaign -- focusing on East Turkestan (Xinjiang), home to the Turkic Uighur Muslim ethnic group -- was launched by China’s central government May 23.
Turkish dailies reported Wednesday clashes over the demolition of a statue to a PKK founder, indications that Turkey's foreign minister could take over the prime ministerial post and protests over the death of an unarmed black teen in Missouri, the U.S.
Outgoing Turkish President Gul said 'As far as it seems, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will take over as prime minister'
Turkey's year-end growth forecast increased to 2.7 percent, senior economist says.
The Eritrean capital Asmara becomes Turkish national flag-carrier's 42nd destination in Africa
One person has been confirmed dead after clashes broke out when security forces arrived to remove an illegal statue of a PKK leader.