Teacher claiming to be aroused by female students remains civil servant

An Islamist teacher, Ercan Harmancı, laid off for his social media posts abusing female students, is now decided to keep working as a civil servant
Monday, 12 March 2018 19:04

The Ministry of National Education of Turkey decides that teacher Ercan Harmancı, who claimed that he was aroused by female students wearing tracksuits, can still work as a civil servant at public institutions except for schools.

Harmancı, working as a philosophy teacher at a high-school in the city of Konya, Turkey, had posted in December 2017 on Twitter: "Either I have perverse emotions, or Satan does not visit them. If you see the body lines of a young girl and the Satan does not incite you, it means that you have lost either your masculinity or your faith."

This had stirred controversy in public, many people and organisations protesting Harmancı. On this, the Ministry of National Education had brought a prosecution against Harmancı, and he was laid off from the job.

Even in the process of investigation, Harmancı kept defending his statement, claiming that "this was a matter of faith", and challenging those who protested him.

Another Islamist teacher, A. F. K., a teacher of religious education in Konya, had also shown his support to Harmancı, sending a message to him on social media and stating that he "witnessed the righteousness" of Harmancı. A prosecution was brought against him, as well.

Other social media posts of Harmancı also show that he is an ardent follower of Nurettin Yıldız, an Islamic preacher who claimed that 6-year-olds could be married, that elevators had the risk of "privacy", and that quilts and pillows on the bed could seduce people.

Harmancı had also written a book named "Daniş: Bir Cennet Delisi" (Daniş: A Zealot for Heaven) that had been published by the Ensar Foundation, an Islamist foundation with very close relations with the AKP government of Turkey. The Ensar Foundation was at the top of the agenda in 2016 with a scandal when it was revealed that 45 children had been raped and abused in the Foundation’s houses.

In the AKP rule since 2002, child abuse, femicide, and harassment of women have become a common practice in Turkey. It is also known that the number of the cases of child abuse increased three times in Turkey in ten years, between 2006 and 2016.