Protests have erupted in Turkey following the death of a medical student who openly spoke out on social media about the pressures and anxiety he faced in his religious community’s dormitory before taking his own life.
Second-year medical student Enes Kara had discussed the pressures of being an active member of a religious community in Elazığ, eastern Turkey. In the clip, he claimed he had “lost [his] complete joie de vivre and enthusiasm”.
Second-year medical student Enes Kara, 20, (above) had discussed the pressures of being an active member of a religious community in Elazığ, eastern Turkey, before killing himself on Monday In the clip, he claimed he had “lost [his] full joy of living and enthusiasm
Kara’s death has sparked public outrage in religious community dormitories in Turkey – a practice the teenager says has ‘forced’ him to perform daily prayers, cook and clean and attend in religious community classes before his death.
His friends from Fırat University Faculty of Medicine united to protest his passing on campus, gathering in front of the faculty building and holding carnations in memory of their peer.
Experts have also spoken out against the conditions in which these students are forced to live.
The Psychiatric Association of Turkey said in a statement: “It is a public obligation to ensure that young people receive quality education, housing, food and psychosocial support services. “
Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Services has also reportedly taken the decision to block online access to Kara’s last video posted before he committed suicide.
Mr Kara ended his life after posting a clip online in which he shared his concerns for the future and what he had been through in the dormitory of the religious community where his family had made him stay for “ develop their spirituality.
Tens of thousands of heartfelt messages supporting Kara have been shared online following the student’s death, alongside the hashtag Enes Kara.
In the video message, recorded about a month ago, Kara, a self-proclaimed atheist, complained that he had no time to prepare or study for his medical degree because he was “forced” to pray in the community dormitory.
The funeral of Kara, who left a handwritten message before her death, was held in the Belen district of Hatay, Turkey on Tuesday. It is understood he was not a practicing Muslim when he died, reports bianet.org.
Friday evening, thousands of demonstrators had gathered following the suicide of the student, with a handful of clashes with the police, in Istanbul.
Footage showed furious groups of young people mobilizing against the often oppressive conditions imposed on those living in student accommodation run by religious sects in Turkey.
Turkish students have taken to the streets of Istanbul to demand change after the death of student Enes Kara. Protesters (pictured above) carried signs and chanted slogans on Friday evening
Thousands of furious protesters rammed a large vehicle in central Istanbul on Friday night following protests over the high-profile suicide of a 20-year-old student
Kara’s death has sparked public outrage in religious community dormitories in Turkey – a practice the teenager says has ‘forced’ him to perform daily prayers, cook and clean and attend in religious community classes before his death. Pictured: Turkish police clash with protesters in Istanbul on Friday
Students were seen holding signs and singing in the streets of Turkey’s historic capital. Footage also showed at least one injured young protester lying across the street following clashes with police.
popular turkish singer Tarkan shared his sadness over Enes Kara being “driven to suicide” with a statement shared online.
He also criticized parents who sent their children to be indoctrinated in the dormitories of the religious community: “Dear mothers and fathers. Before it’s too late, listen sensitively and lovingly to what your children are feeling and thinking and stand by them unconditionally.
“Respect their agency, their wishes and their 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 souls who came into the world through us, their mothers and fathers. Instead of extinguishing their light, let your children illuminate our hearts with this light.
“Remember that our primary duty is to protect and care for our children. Do not make them serve the exploitation of sectarian and fanatical mentalities…’
The ruling AKP party denounced the protests. Vice President and Spokesman Ömer Çelik expressed his “deep sadness” over Kara’s death, before adding that “every death should bring a person face to face with their own soul”.
“Those who produce a fight, ideological revenge and division by the death of a young person are not acceptable and not moral,” he added.
The opposition Labor Party has since called on high-profile figures to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Kara’s death and demanded that religious community dormitories be closed to students.
An injured student is pictured lying on the ground following a clash with police during protests in Istanbul on Friday night
A group of Turkish students, wearing face masks, are pictured battling police during protests over the death of a medical student in Istanbul
Police nab a young woman who joins thousands of others in protesting the suicide of medical student Enes Kara