In a midnight decree on March 12, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed Serkan Gür, the head of Bursa Provincial Directorate of Education.
The move came after the Education and Science Workers' Union’s (Eğitim-İş) announcement over a tent scandal involving Serkan Gür and Bursa Provincial Directorate of Education.
Eğitim-İş Bursa branch head Yeliz Toy on March 7 said that 410 tents, which are officially said to have been produced in schools in the northwestern province of Bursa, were bought from the southeastern province of Gaziantep to Bursa just to have the Education Ministry’s logo printed on them and then sent to the earthquake zone.
“The Education Ministry sent the tents it bought from Gaziantep, which is 1.5 hours away from the provinces of Hatay and Kahramanmaraş where the need for shelter is urgent, to Bursa to have the ministry’s logo printed instead of sending them to the region in a short time. Both time was lost and hundreds of thousands of liras of public damage were caused,” Toy said in a press release.
“Serkan Gür served as the stakeholder and executive of this scandal in Bursa, and was also a partner in this crime,” she added.
Eğitim-İş Bursa Şubesi Başkanı Yeliz Toy, Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı'nın Bursa meslek liselerinde üretildiğini söylediği çadırların Gaziantep'ten satın alınıp, MEB logosu yapıştırılıp tekrar deprem bölgesine gönderildiğini iddia etti pic.twitter.com/F2cR64iEDF— DW Türkçe (@dw_turkce) March 7, 2023
In response, the Education Ministry on March 10 announced that an investigation was launched against Serkan Gür and other officials one month ago.
However, one day later the ministry denied the scandal, saying “Our inspectors determined that the allegations in question were unfounded.”
“A defamation campaign was carried out against the teachers, students and administrators of our high schools, who have been working hard for the earthquake victims, with the allegation and ‘social media gossip’ made by a union without evidence. Necessary legal action has been taken against those who carry out a defamation campaign against our educational institutions with allegations that are not based on any concrete evidence,” the ministry added.