A professor from Ege University’s department of astronomy and space sciences was caught on camera Wednesday afternoon when taking photographs of headscarved students and preventing them from entering the building.
The Higher Education Board (YÖK) lifted a ban on the use of the Muslim headscarf on university campuses in 2010. However, some universities continue to impose the notorious ban. Opponents of the ban, liberal intellectuals and conservatives think that such a ban contravenes fundamental rights as it deprives some of their right to education.
On Wednesday Professor Esat Rennan Pekünlü was captured by cameramen of the Cihan news agency when he was standing at the door of the 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 a headscarf at their university. Pekünlü would not permit those students to enter the building when the students tried to attend their classes. The professor did not comment when cameramen asked him what he would do with the photos of the students. He only said he was using his “democratic rights.” The professor, however, did not take the photos of male students or female students who were not wearing the headscarf, and allowed them to enter the building. The Ege University administration announced on Thursday that an investigation has been launched into the professor. In October 2010, YÖK sent a circular to university administrations, asking them not to send students out of class or university campuses for wearing the headscarf.