Turkish student commits suicide in religious dormitory after complaints on mandatory worship


A Turkish medical student has committed suicide after uploading a video in which he complained about his life at student dormitory run by a religious movement, BirGün reported on Tuesday.

Enes Kara, a sophomore at the Faculty of Medicine at Fırat University in the eastern province of Elazığ, said in his video that the dormitory administration were forcing him to pray, to attend religious class, and read religious books.

Birgün reported that the dormitory belonged to the Nur movement, a Sunni religious group based on the writings of a late Ottoman religious scholar Said Nursi. Turkish governments cracked down on the group during 1960s and 1970s as an Islamist movement.

The 20-year-old in the video said that he was “psychologically exhaustion” and could no longer bear the oppressive environment of his student dormitory.

“It is obligatory to pray, to attend the cult's lessons in the cult-run dormitory I am staying. I am not a Muslim, my family does not know this, when I said that I wanted to leave this place, they replied no” he wrote in a separate note.

Kara's friends gathered at Fırat University on Tuesday for a moment of silence in honour of Kara, Diken English reported.

“How many more lives do we have to lose to take an action? We demand that this situation is tackled and that families, teachers, the management do something about this,” Diken English cited a statement read out by the students.

Turkish students are being forced to find accommodation at dormitories affiliated with religious groups due to what they are calling a shortage of state-run facilities.

Last September, students across the country gathered at night in parks to protest the lack of dormitory accommodation and skyrocketing rents.

Kara’s father, Mehmet Kara, has said he will not be taking legal action over his son’s death, BirGün said.

“The place where my son stayed is run by nice people. I recommended him to stay there. I have been member of the group for 25 years. I have seen no harm from them,’’ the father said.

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