Controversy surrounds religious events and education in Mersin
By Abidin Yagmur
The Fatih Science and Solidarity Association is in the eye of a storm after hosting Dr. Sheikh Jamil Halim El Husseini, President of the Lebanese Sayyids Society, at an event held at Mersin Anatolian Imam Hatip High School. The association's involvement in organizing Quran courses, religious training, and conversations in vacant public schools during the summer has also come under severe criticism.
The event held on October 3 saw Sheikh Husseini, who claims lineage to the prophet, being received with the honors of a head of state. This reception, along with the participation of young children, has raised eyebrows and ignited a debate on the appropriateness of such gatherings in educational establishments.
CHP calls for accountability
Ali Mahir Basarir, the CHP (Republican People's Party) Group Deputy Chairman, has expressed outrage at the event and the alleged infiltration of obscure sects into the school environment. Başarır calls for the immediate suspension of the Director of National Education in Mersin and the school's principal, demanding a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
"We want physics teachers and math teachers in those schools. This is a matter of shame," said Basarir, expressing his disapproval of the religious indoctrination and the presence of cult figures in a learning environment meant for secular education.
The association's summer activities revealed
The Fatih Science and Assistance Association's religious activities extend beyond isolated events. Social media posts reveal that the organization has been active in several schools in Mersin, using the premises for Quran courses and religious education during the summer.
Children from primary and secondary schools were part of these religious training sessions, raising concerns about the influence and impact of such education on young minds and the secular nature of public education.
Official protocols questioned
Yakup Tekin, Mersin Branch President of Eğitim-İş, highlighted that associations could conduct school activities if the Directorate of National Education approved official protocols. Last year, a protocol allowing Quran courses in public schools during the summer was signed and ratified. Still, the latest developments suggest an overreach by foundations and associations beyond the agreed terms.