Şahin, a single mother with four children, was upset at not being allowed to see her daughter get her diploma and certificate of high achievement on the podium at the ceremony.
World Bulletin / News Desk
A headscarved student who is at the top of her class received her diploma from a garrison commander in Adıyaman, while in İstanbul, another top student, also covered, was not allowed in her graduation ceremony over the weekend.
Adıyaman Garrison Commander Yusuf Yalçın extended the diploma and certificate of high achievement to Hacer Şancı, who graduated from Adıyaman University first in her graduating class at a ceremony marking the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. Adıyaman Gov. Ramazan Sodan, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Murtaza Yetiş and Rector Mustafa Talha Gönüllü were all in attendance at the convocation, where 4,875 students said goodbye to their university lives.
While the Adıyaman ceremony went smoothly, a graduation ceremony in İstanbul was marred by discrimination against a headscarved student. Sevanur Caner, the top student at İstanbul Maltepe Mediha Engizer Technical and Vocational High School, was banned from entering her graduation ceremony because of her headscarf.
Caner’s mother, Yasemin Şahin, said she and her daughter did not want to go to the ceremony in the first place but were later convinced by the school principal. “In her office the principal told us that my daughter had to remove her headscarf, otherwise she wouldn’t be allowed in,” Şahin said and continued: “I said: ‘She is not in the classroom. Many students are wearing mini-skirts. They are also dressed in violation of the [dress] code. Accept us if you accept them’.”
Şahin, a single mother with four children, was upset at not being allowed to see her daughter get her diploma and certificate of high achievement on the podium at the ceremony. The student was also disappointed. “I worked really hard. This shouldn’t have been the answer for it,” she said. Although Principal Nurdane Nimet Güven did not comment on the incident, the head of the Maltepe District Education Directorate, Faik Kaptan, said every student is free to choose what to wear at graduation ceremonies and that the school principal is responsible for what happened at the event.
Similar discriminatory treatment against headscarved students come to public attention at graduation ceremonies. Last week, a top student at a high school in Adana was banned from coming up to the podium to receive her award because she wore a headscarf, as three other headscarved students were ordered by the school’s principal to sit at the back of the hall while the graduation ceremony took place.