Turkey: Protests over medical student’s death who took his life after religious community criticism

Protests erupted in Turkey after the death of a medical student who publicly denounced the stress and anxiety he faced in his communal residence on social media before committing suicide.

Sophomore medical student Anis Kara discussed the pressures of being an active member of a religious community in Elazig, eastern Turkey. In the clip, he claimed to have “lost” [his] The full joy of life and enthusiasm.

Sophomore medical student Anis Kara, 20 (above), discussed the pressures of being an active member of a religious community in Elazig, eastern Turkey, before he committed suicide on Monday. In the clip, he claimed to have “lost” [his] full joy of life and enthusiasm”

Kara’s death sparked public outrage from the dorms of Turkey’s religious community – a practice the teen controversially claimed had “forced” him to perform daily prayers, cook, clean and attend religious community classes before his death.

His friends at the Firat University College of Medicine gathered to protest his death on campus, and they gathered in front of the college building and carried carnations in memory of their peers.

Experts have now also spoken out against the conditions these students were forced to live in.

“It is a general obligation to ensure that young people benefit from quality education, housing, food and psychosocial support services,” the Turkish Psychiatric Association said in a statement.

It is also understood that Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Services has taken a decision to block online access to Kara’s last video posted before he committed suicide.

Mr. Kara ended his life after he posted a clip online in which he shared his concerns about the future and what he lived through in the dormitory of the religious community where his family resided in order to “develop his spirituality”.

Tens of thousands of heartfelt messages speaking in support of Kara have been shared online in the wake of the student’s death, along with the hashtag Enes Kara.

In the video message, which was recorded about a month ago, Kara, a self-described atheist, complained that there was no time to prepare or study for a medical degree because he was “forced” to pray in the community dormitory.

The funeral of Kara, who left behind a handwritten message before his death, was held in the Bilin district of Hatay, Turkey, on Tuesday. It is understood that he was not a devout Muslim at the time of his death, according to bianet.org.

Thousands of demonstrators gathered, on Friday evening, following the suicide of the student, with few clashes with the police in Istanbul.

Images showed angry groups of young people rallying against the often oppressive conditions imposed on those living in student dormitories run by Turkey’s religious communities.

Turkish students have taken to the streets of Istanbul to demand change after the death of student Anis Kara.  Protesters (pictured above) carried banners and chanted slogans on Friday evening

Turkish students took to the streets of Istanbul to demand change after the death of student Anis Kara. Protesters (pictured above) carried banners and chanted slogans on Friday evening

Thousands of angry protesters slam a large car in central Istanbul on Friday evening after demonstrations against the high-profile suicide of a 20-year-old student.

Thousands of angry protesters slam a large car in central Istanbul on Friday evening after demonstrations against the high-profile suicide of a 20-year-old student.

Kara's death sparked public outrage from the dorms of Turkey's religious community - a practice the teen controversially claimed was

Kara’s death sparked public outrage from the dorms of Turkey’s religious community – a practice the teen controversially claimed had “forced” him to perform daily prayers, cook, clean and attend religious community classes before his death. Pictured: Clashes between Turkish police and protesters in Istanbul on Friday

Students were seen carrying banners and chanting in the streets of Turkey’s historic capital. Pictures also showed at least one young protester injured outside the street following clashes with the police.

Turkish folk singer Tarkan shared his grief that Anis Kara was “motivated by suicide” with a statement shared online.

He was more critical of fathers who sent their children to be indoctrinated in the religious community’s dwellings: ‘Dear mothers and fathers. Before it’s too late, listen sensitively and lovingly to what your children are feeling and thinking and be by their side unconditionally.

Respect their free will, desires, and choices. Your priority should be their happiness. The life they live is their life. Your children do not belong to you and do not belong to you.

They are free spirits who came into the world through us, through their mothers and fathers. Instead of extinguishing their light, let your children illuminate our hearts with this light.

Do not forget that our main duty is to protect and take care of our children. Not making them serve the exploitation of fanatical and fanatical mindsets…”

The ruling Justice and Development Party condemned the demonstrations. Vice President and Spokesperson Omer Celik expressed his “deep sadness” over Kara’s death, before adding that “each death should make a person confront his or her soul.”

“Whoever produces fighting, ideological revenge and division through the death of a young man is unacceptable and immoral,” he added.

Since then, the opposition Labor Party has called on prominent figures to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Kara’s death, and demanded that religious denominations’ residences be closed to students.

A picture of an injured student lying on the ground after a clash with police in the Istanbul protests on Friday night

A picture of an injured student lying on the ground after a clash with police in the Istanbul protests on Friday night

A group of Turkish students wearing masks is pictured grappling with police during protests over the death of a medical student in Istanbul.

A group of Turkish students wearing masks is pictured grappling with police during protests over the death of a medical student in Istanbul.

Police arrest a young woman who joined thousands of others to protest the suicide of medical student Ines Kara

Police arrest a young woman who joined thousands of others to protest the suicide of medical student Ines Kara

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