Seyfettin Aras / Bursa, June 19 () - An education official in the northwestern province of Bursa caused public indignation after his account was used to tweet a picture depicting Turkey’s founding father in hell for failing to comply with religious principles.
Mustafa Karaaslan purportedly shared a picture of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk captioned with a fabricated quotation with the leader’s signature below.
“Do not break your fast because of hot weather; it is even hotter here” the caption read, just as Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, where believers are expected to fast, began on June 18.
But the deputy director of education in Bursa, Necdet Sezer, stated that an investigation had revealed that Karaaslan was a “victim” of hacking.
“We have provided the ministry and our governor’s office with the necessary information. Our friend, who is also a victim in this incident, declared that his social media account was hacked and he has filed a criminal complaint” Sezer said.
Karaaslan’s tweet soon drew nationwide attention as mainstream news outlets defined the incident as a “scandal” and the hashtag “MustafaKaraaslan” became a trending topic among Twitter’s Turkish users.
In reaction to Karaaslan’s tweet, Özkan Rona, the provincial head of the educators’ union Eğitim-İş, made a statement urging the governor of Bursa to remove Karaaslan as the director of education for Bursa’s İnegöl district.
“We do not accept the disrespect displayed against the founder of this country. We expect the governor of Bursa to remove this person as the district director given he demonstrated similar behavior before by insulting both Atatürk and İsmet İnönü [the second president of Turkey]” Rona said.