Diyanet under fire after video footage shows child being battered at Quran course

Duvar English

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali Öztunç on Sept. 25 shared a video footage showing a child being battered while attending a Quran course in the southeastern province of Kahramanmaraş’s Elbistan district.

Öztunç, who is himself from Kahramanmaraş, wrote on his social media account: “No one who approves of this action that is done against our children at a Quran course linked to Diyanet, can be my fellow townsman. I call out to Diyanet head, who insulted [Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk, to inquire this and notify the public.”

The video shows someone hitting a child with an object that resembles a belt. While the child is seen crying following the incident, the assaulter is seen leaving the room with someone else.

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Öztunç later wrote on his Twitter account that Kahramanmaraş Governor’s Office and the office of the mufti called him and told him that an investigation was launched into the incident.

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In a press statement, Elbistan District Governor’s Office said that the video footage shows a 15-year-old child battering a 10-year-old child, both of which are attending the relevant Quran course in the district.

Öztunç slammed the governor’s office’s explanation of the incident saying that he did not believe the assailant was another course student. Öztünç said that Elbistan District Governor’s Office had issued this statement “upon the orders of Kahramanmaraş Governor’s Office.” “The investigation is a story then. Who are you protecting?” Öztunç asked.

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Diyanet head Ali Erbaş also issued a statement regarding the incident saying that he can in no way approve of an incident that shows violence being imposed on a child and will personally follow the issue.

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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