İstanbul teacher fired over comments on Alevi community

A middle school teacher in İstanbul was fired for disparaging comments on Turkey’s Alevi community, independent news site Diken reported.

An Islamic studies teacher at Cumhuriyet middle school in İstanbul’s Arnavutköy district last Monday told students that it is not religiously permissible to eat food prepared by Alevis, Diken said.

‘’Alevis don’t like our Prophet [Muhammad]. They only love his grandchildren Hasan and Hussein,’’ Diken quoted the teacher as saying in response to a question from a student on why food cooked by the minority group should be avoided.

The Arnavutköy National Education Chairman Mehmet Dağ removed the teacher from duty after the comments were reported to the local Cemevi - Alevi house of worship, Diken said.

Turkey is home to an Alevi minority which makes up roughly 25 percent of the population. Alevis, who follow an eclectic folk Islam that draws some traditions from Shia sources, are marginalised in parts of society and in school religious education classes.