Turkish university students file complaint against academic for sexist remarks

Turkish students from Sakarya University on Oct. 25 filed a complaint against a sociology professor for his sexist remarks about women wearing shorts, diverting course material into religious propaganda, and overall unprofessional behavior. 

Duvar English

41 students from Sakarya University on Oct. 25 filed a complaint against sociology professor Ali Arslan. According to the complaint submitted to the rectorate, Prof. Dr. Arslan on Oct. 19 asked a woman student why she was wearing shorts.

Students blame Arslan for “engaging in religious propaganda and imposing his worldview on students during classes,” Alican Uludağ from DW Turkish reported on Oct. 26. 

The complaint included examples of Arslan’s unprofessional behavior such as criticizing female volleyball players for wearing shorts, providing religious examples in sociology and psychology courses, and denying basic principles of the disciplines.

The complaint also records an incident where Prof. Dr. Arslan asked a female student to display Islamic prayer movements in an introductory psychology course to the students’ surprise.

Students complained that the academic discriminated against some students with his political rhetoric, tried to impose his worldview on his class, and marginalized a woman student for her clothing choices. The students stated that they did not want Arslan to offer sociology courses, and requested university administration to investigate the professor.  

Prof. Dr. Arslan responded to DW Turkish’s request for comments and argued that the shorts incident mentioned in the students’ complaint was “nothing but slander,” as such an event did not occur.  

“I made no statement about a specific individual. The complaint in question is either made in bad faith or by someone without proper sociological formation taking my words personally,” Arslan’s response read.