Erdoğan to disabled teacher: 'You don't look like disabled'

At the appointment ceremony for 3,500 disabled teachers on April 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said to a disabled teacher, "But you don't look like a disabled person. Are you disabled?"

Duvar English

During the appointment ceremony for 3,500 teachers with disabilities on April 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a remark to one of the attendees that caused some controversy. Specifically, he asked the teacher in question, "Are you really disabled? You don't look like it."

Erdoğan also said that with the recent appointments, the number of disabled teachers in the last 10 years has reached 11,500. He also promised that 45,000 more contracted teachers will be appointed in May 2023.

Stating that 75 percent of teachers were appointed during the Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s rule and that this "shows the importance they attach to education," Erdoğan said: "It was also up to us to solve all the accumulated problems of our teachers."

The opposition bloc Nation Alliance often states in its election campaigns that they will appoint 100,000 teachers when they come to power. Many newly graduated teachers struggle to find positions in Turkey while the student per capita increases especially in recent years.