Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR
A Kurdish student in a school in the northwestern province of Kocaeli has been subjected to racist attacks and beaten up by his classmates after he said he would not vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
AKP officials of the district of Darıca had recently visited the religious Darıca Şehit Murat Tevlim Anadolu İmam Hatip High School and told students to vote for the AKP in the upcoming elections in 2023.
The student told them he would not vote for the AKP. He was later beaten up by his classmates, and there were racist writings written on his desk and bag.
His father took the boy to a hospital and later removed him from the school, saying he was worried for his son’s life.
The attacks and bullying towards the student continued for days after, his father said.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu submitted questions in parliament addressed to Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ about the incident and racism in schools.
One of his questions asked how many people were involved in racist attacks in the last five years.
Gergerlioğlu said racists attacks were now happening in schools.
“This is an incident that cannot be accepted. Unfortunately, the government’s education policies are increasing racist attacks in schools,” he said.
He added that the writings on the student’s desks were phrases in reference to security forces that took part in past military operations in southeastern provinces.
Gergerlioğlu also said he found statements made by the district education directorate on the incident “insufficient.”
(English version by Nihan Kalle)