Investigation launched against academic for not greeting his colleagues

The Faculty of Business Administration at İzmir's Dokuz Eylül University has launched a disciplinary investigation into a research assistant on the grounds of him not greeting his colleagues at workplace. Önder Canveren filed a complaint with the Ombudsman Institution, which ruled in his favor on April of this year, determining that Canveren was in fact the victim of mobbing.

Nuray Pehlivan / Duvar

A disciplinary investigation has been launched against an academic at İzmir's Dokuz Eylül University for not greeting his colleagues. The research assistant, who has filed his own complaint with public officials, says that he has been the victim of mobbing at the workplace, resulting in serious psychological and physical health problems.

“They filed an investigation because I didn't say hello. There are many professors in the faculty, are they expecting me to greet every professor I see in a military fashion?” said Dr. Önder Canveren, a researcher at the university's Faculty of Business Administration.

Canveren said that following the death of his aunt, his closest living relative, his mourning was ignored by colleagues and the department head filed a complaint against him resulting in a disciplinary investigation. 'Sitting in the back row during meetings', 'causing discomfort with his looks', and 'not saying hello' were the claims that formed the basis of this investigation.

“Due to the intense stress and anxiety resulting from my work life, health problems started to appear and based on the evaluations of the doctor observing my treatment, I realized that I was facing mobbing,” Canveren told Duvar.

Canveren has been fighting for his rights for the past two years, and filed a complaint with the Ombudsman Institution, which ruled in his favor on April of this year, determining that Canveren was in fact the victim of mobbing and that his rights were violated.

However, Dokuz Eylül University administration did not open an investigation of their own into the matter, and the former head of Canveren's department was even appointed to a position in the university's academic senate. Two more investigations were subsequently filed against Canveren by the department.

Canveren said he believes that he has been the victim of the mobbing because he did not obey and instead fought for his legal rights, obtaining a lawyer and getting support from a union.

“The university administration remaining silent on the injustices that have occurred in the faculty is unacceptable,” said Dr. Ümit Akıncı of the Eğitim-Sen educator's union, adding that this is an indication that mobbing is becoming normalized in university environments.

Meanwhile, Canveren's lawyer Anıl Güler said that an application they have filed in a court will hold up just like the initial complaint with the Ombudsman Institution.

Canveren said that he was planning on completing his treatment but that the two new investigations filed against him have caused him to extend it.

“I'm living with a dependence on medication. I can't even count the antibiotics I have had to take for two years for the swelling in my armpits that has resulted from stress. But unfortunately losing your health doesn't even mean anything,” Canveren said.