Turkish teacher temporarily detained for 'targeting Century of Turkey' in centennial speech

Turkish police temporarily detained a teacher over “inciting the public to hatred and enmity” in her centennial of the Turkish Republic speech. In her speech, the teacher argued that the republic’s values were deteriorating as factories and Turkish citizenship were being sold “one by one” to foreigners.

Ceren Deniz / Gazete Duvar

Turkish police on Oct. 30 detained a literature teacher Emine Karakaş over her speech for the centennial of the foundation of the Turkish Republic in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

In her speech at a school, which was spread over social media, Karakaş said “Where are you, while factories, the apple of the Republic's eye, are being sold to foreigners one by one, while citizenship of the Republic of Turkey is being distributed like a snack to everyone who has money, while foreigners are enjoying their country with privileges and ruling over everything that has money, while your civil servants, doctors, workers and teachers are treated as second-class citizens in their own country, and most importantly, the young people you call 'my future' are desperately looking for ways to leave the country?”

In a statement, Antalya Security Directorate announced that an investigation was initiated into the content of the speech “which was stated to be targeting ‘the Century of Turkey’, and displaying a divisive attitude by damaging unity and solidarity.”

The teacher was detained over “inciting the public to hatred and enmity” per the instruction of Antalya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, it added.

On Oct. 31, an Antalya court released the teacher under judicial control measures.

After the detention, the Eğitim-Sen (Education and Science Workers’ Union) Antalya branch head Nurettin Sönmez said they were asked to be teachers “who do not speak, but obey.”

“A teacher expresses their thoughts by thinking about the future of young people and the country. Every teacher is responsible to their parents, students and country” he said.

“The Century of Turkey vision” was first declared by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, arguing the second century of the Republic, after 2023, will be marked by Turkey’s successes in the international arena.

(English version by Alperen Şen)