Professor boycotted for saying Elazığ quake caused by ban on child marriages

A professor from Yıldız Technical University was protested by students for his comments that implied the Jan. 24 Elazığ quake that killed 33 people was caused by the government's attempts at banning underage marriages. "By saying that marriages at the age that Allah deems helal are rape, let us not offend Allah," Gencer said. The university administration opened an investigation into his posts, and students walked out from his class on Feb. 10.

Duvar English

A professor from Yıldız Technical University has been boycotted by students for saying that the Jan. 24 Elazığ earthquake that killed 33 was a consequence of the government's ban on underage marriages.

Prof. Bedri Gencer tweeted that Australia endured widespread fires and China is experiencing the Corona virus outbreak because they "angered Allah."

Legalizing same-sex relations and banning underage marriages as part of the Istanbul Convention might also have consequences, Gencer added.

"By legalizing homosexuality, by saying that marriages at the age that Allah deems helal are rape, by breaking up happy homes, let us not offend Allah. It'll happen soon," Gencer had tweeted before deleting the post due to backlash on social media.

A mass walk-out

Gencer was protested by students Feb. 10 during class for his comments about underage marriages.

Former Prime Minister Abdullah Gül married his wife when she was 15, Gencer noted as a response.

"By your logic, Abdullah Gül should be in prison," Gencer added.

He responded to students who protested against his comments by telling them to stop "talking gibberish."

The students carried out a mass walk-out after Gencer told one student to "stop showing off."

Gencer's justification and the aftermath

Gencer said that his tweet wasn't about the Elazığ quake: if it had been about the Jan. 24 quake, he said, he would have written on Jan. 25 that "we have bothered Allah," not "let us not bother Allah."

"Our message was simply a warning that the ban would upset the children of men who are thrown in prison despite marrying at an age that's legal in terms of religion," Gencer said.

The Yıldız Technical University administration started an investigation of the professor's social media post, noting the inappropriateness of his comments in an official statement.

"A prompt investigation was started into one of our professor's social media posts that crossed the line, and is unacceptable during a time when our people are deeply saddened and our government is out in the field with all of its manpower," the official statement read.