Turkish rector resigns after remarks over ‘obeying Erdoğan’

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A university rector in the southeastern Turkish province of Şanlıurfa has resigned after reactions over his remarks suggesting that it is “an Islamic duty to obey” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“My personal remarks during a private broadcaster’s program were unfortunately manipulated and were attempted to be used to undermine our respected president. In order to not undermine my university and the office of the president, I am leaving my post,” Harran University Rector Prof. Ramazan Taşaltın said in a statement on Nov. 1.

Taşaltın had said in a television program on Oct. 30 that “It is an Islamic duty [farz-ı ayn] to obey the president. Opposing the president, on the other hand, means that you are a deserter.”

The rector’s remarks were widely condemned not only among the opposition, but also by the members of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

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