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Prison sentence upheld for professor blocking headscarf students

The Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's decision to sentence a Turkish professor from Ege University

Source : Worldbulletin.net / 26 Jul 2013

The Supreme Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's decision to sentence a Turkish professor from Ege University to over two years in prison because he repeatedly blocked headscarved women from entering the faculty building where he worked.

The İzmir 4th Criminal Court of First Instance last year convicted the professor of violating the privacy of Fatma Nur Gidal -- one of the women he prevented from entering the building and the plaintiff in the case -- as well as violating her right to access to education.

The professor, Esat Rennan Pekünlü, from the university's department of astronomy and space sciences, was caught on camera in May taking photographs of headscarved students and preventing them from entering the building.

The Higher Education Board (YÖK) lifted a ban on the wearing of the Muslim headscarf on university campuses in 2010. However, some universities continue to impose the notorious ban. Opponents of the ban, including conservatives and many liberal intellectuals, think that such a ban contravenes fundamental rights as it deprives some citizens of their right to education.

Pekünlü was captured by cameramen of the Cihan news agency while he was standing at the door of his faculty building and taking photos of headscarved students. Cameramen had arrived at the faculty after some students tipped them off that the professor was violating the rights of women wearing headscarves at their university.

 

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