Thinking mic is turned off, AKP mayor complains about rector to Erdoğan

Thinking that the microphone was turned off, AKP mayor Fatma Şahin has complained about the rector of the Gaziantep University to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, by calling him “absolutely crazy.” Although the dialogue took place during Erdoğan’s visit to the city on Dec. 25, it has only come out to light through a widely shared footage on social media.

Duvar English

It has recently come out that during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's public opening ceremony in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on Dec. 25, Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin complained about Gaziantep University Rector Prof. Arif Özaydın, without realizing the microphone was open.

Leaning towards Mayor Şahin, Erdoğan asked: “Do you complaints about the rector?” 

Without realizing that the microphone was open, Şahin replied to Erdoğan's question: "Too bad, very bad.” When Erdoğan asked again "Is that so?" Şahin said: "He is absolutely crazy."

There have been many complaints about Gaziantep University Rector Prof. Arif Özaydın. During a graduation ceremony of the Faculty of Theology students, he had advised students “to go into business."

He was previously reported to the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) over plagiarism in his two books. There have been also complaints to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Center (CİMER) and YÖK about Özaydın over allegations that he had mobbed an associate professor and had nine deans resigned.

Rector Özaydın commented on Mayor Şahin's remarks about him. “I am not interested in these topics, I am a lecturer. I will continue to lecture regardless of what people say,” he told Oda TV in an interview.