A university in Istanbul has fired one of its staff after his televised comments about teenage girls’ potential for fertility caused public outrage.
During a TV show, Professor Muttalip Kutluk Özgüven, from the computer engineering department at Aydın University, claimed that the age range between 12 to 17 is an ideal period for girls to give birth to their first child.
“There is no ‘Superman,’ it is all imaginary. But there is such a race called ‘superwomen.’ Between the age 12 and 17, they have immense regeneration capacity, their body is in perfect shape. Go ask any doctor,” Özgüven said.
In the face of the strong public reaction, Aydın University distanced itself from the academic.
“The views Professor Özgüven expressed in the TV show are his own and totally unacceptable. We strongly condemned him. Legal actions have been taken against this particular staff. Such a mindset can not have a place in our institution,” the university said in a statement.
The Turkish Women’s Associations Federation has lashed out at Özgüven, saying that his views are not scientific but politically motivated.
“This person defends child molestation. Women will always stand up against those who defend sexual harassment, rape and child abuse,” said Canan Güllü, the head of the federation.
Doctor Pınar Kadiroğulları, a gynecologist, stressed that pregnancy poses great risks to girls in the age group between 12 and 17 because their bodies are prone to many illnesses.
“The body’s self-defense mechanism is not well developed at those ages and sexually transmitted infections are seen very often. The World Health Organization classifies girls aged 12 to 17 as adolescents,” Kadiroğulları said.