European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur to Turkey Kati Piri has criticized President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressing Boğaziçi University students “Those communist, traitor terrorist youngsters scattered the desk. We will not grant those youngsters right to education at university”.
Piri shared the news report about the incident on her Twitter account and wrote, “Anti-war protestors labeled ‘terrorists’ by President Erdogan. Critical thinking dangerous endeavor in ‘new Turkey’.
Seven students who criticized government’s Afrin policies are still in detention.
On March 19 (Monday) a group of students opened a stand giving out Turkish delight in North Campus following 46 soldiers losing their lives in Afrin. A group of antiwar students protested them by opening a banner reading “Invasion, massacre cannot be celebrated with Turkish delight”. A quarrel sparked between the two groups and the stand was reportedly attacked.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) Youth Branch in police control protested the attack launched on the stand on March 20. In the statement for the press issued, the students were described as “terrorists”.
Statements by university presidency and Higher Education Board
In its statement, Boğaziçi University Presidency has said, “We find the attack carried out on the stand unacceptable like any patriot”.
“Security forces intervened in the aforementioned demonstrations that were held without approval of our university administration. Necessary investigations and disciplinary procedures have been launched into this hostile demonstration”.
In its statement, the Higher Education Board (YÖK) has said, “In order to avoid such incidents causing public indignation, necessary precautions to be taken including amendment in regulations will be concluded by negotiating. This process has been commenced”.
Police entered campus
Five antiwar students were detained by police during home and dormitory raids on March 22.
In protest of the detentions, students released a statement on social media calling for a rally in the North Campus. The statement read:
“Detention of the students who weren’t even in the campus at the time of the incident is a proof that the attack has been turned into a witch hunt by the government to oppress the opposition in the university”.
Prior to the rally time, Anti-Terror teams entering the campus detained seven students by dragging them on the floor. Taken to Gayrettepe Security Directorate and detained there, the students were released on the same day.
Erdoğan called the students “terrorist”
On March 24, Saturday, Erdoğan said, “Those communist, traitor terrorist youngsters scattered the desk. We will not grant those youngsters right to education at university”. (AS/TK)
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