Diyanet under fire after video footage shows child being battered at Quran course

A deputy of the main opposition CHP has criticized the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) after a video footage showing a child being battered at a Quran course has surfaced. CHP MP Ali Öztunç called on Diyanet head to enlighten the incident, while also indicating that he does not believe the explanation of the district governor's office that the 10-year-old child was beaten by a 15-year-old child attending the same course.

Duvar English

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Ali Öztunç on Sept. 25 shared a video footage showing a child being battered while attending a Quran course in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş's Elbistan district.

Öztunç, who is himself from Kahramanmaraş, wrote on his social media account: “No one who approves of this action that is done against our children at a Quran course linked to Diyanet, can be my fellow townsman. I call out to Diyanet head, who insulted [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk, to inquire this and notify the public.”

The video shows someone hitting a child with an object that resembles a belt. While the child is seen crying following the incident, the assaulter is seen leaving the room with someone else.

Öztunç later wrote on his Twitter account that Kahramanmaraş Governor's Office and the office of the mufti called him and told him that an investigation was launched into the incident.

In a press statement, Elbistan District Governor's Office said that the video footage shows a 15-year-old child battering a 10-year-old child, both of which are attending the relevant Quran course in the district.

Öztunç slammed the governor's office's explanation of the incident saying that he did not believe the assailant was another course student. Öztünç said that Elbistan District Governor's Office had issued this statement “upon the orders of Kahramanmaraş Governor's Office.” “The investigation is a story then. Who are you protecting?” Öztunç asked.

Diyanet head Ali Erbaş also issued a statement regarding the incident saying that he can in no way approve of an incident that shows violence being imposed on a child and will personally follow the issue.

Diyanet spends 29 million liras on mosque and Quran associations in 2019Diyanet spends 29 million liras on mosque and Quran associations in 2019