Teacher subject of complaint for saying 'humans descend from monkeys'

An official complaint was filed against an arts teacher on the grounds that she "insulted religious beliefs". Teacher D.B. claimed the school administration was motivated by a discomfort with her not wearing a headscarf.

Serkan Alan / Duvar

An arts teacher at a middle school located near Ankara was the subject of a complaint over "insulting religious beliefs" for saying that "humans come from monkeys."

"A parent went to the District Minister of Education and said I used phrases that insulted religion and insulted the Qur'an during class," said arts teacher D.B.

After the complaint was filed, she asked her pupils about it. They told her they hadn't heard anything of the sort in class, D.B. says.

Before the Mamak Şahit Yıldırım İmam Hatip Middle School administration notified D.B., they told the student whose parent had made the complaint they were calling an inspector to the school and "doing what was necessary and filing a complaint," D.B. added.

"They should have taken my statement first but they saw this as an opportunity," D.B. says. The school principle insists he did not steer the student.

D.B. says she got in touch with the District Minister of Education Mustafa Özel about the complaint, and told him the administration was attempting to get rid of her because they thought she didn't "fit in with the school's profile" and didn't wear a headscarf.

D.B. says the minister responded to her in the following manner: "I wouldn't let my administrators do that. Still, you look like the marginal type."

"These people can't fit me in with their idea of the school profile and point of view. This is because I'm blond and don't wear a headscarf. The school principal even forbade male and female students from talking to each other," D.B. says.