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Charged with “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” for opening a banner reading "Invasion, massacre cannot be marked with Turkish delight" in protest of a group of students opening a stand giving out Turkish delight with respect to Afrin operation, 22 Boğaziçi University students 14 of whom were pending trial in jail, stood trial at İstanbul Courthouse 32nd Heavy Penal Court yesterday (June 6).
Presided by Erdoğan Şimşek, the court committee ruled release of the 14 students pending trial in jail on the condition of international travel ban.
It was also ruled that the probation imposed on the other defendants Ali İmran Şirin, Denizhan Eren, Mustafa Ada Gök, Emir Eray Karabıyık, Onur Eren, İbrahim Musab Curabaz and Hamza Dinçer be lifted and the international travel ban continue.
International travel ban and probation imposed on PhD. student Kültigin Demirlioğlu were ordered to be lifted on the ground that he is “studying abroad”.
The court committee consisted of the following figures: Presiding Judge: Erdoğan Şimşek; Members: Onur Sert, Ahmet Selçuk Özkan; Prosecutor: Caner Babaloğlu.
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 marked 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 anti-war 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."
16 students in total were taken into custody
On March 25, the police raided the dormitories and houses of the students. After the raids, three Boğaziçi University students, who are also members of the Marxist Thought Community, were taken into custody.
On March 26, three other students were detained after their houses and dormitories were raided by police.
On March 31, two more students from Boğaziçi University were detained.
On April 2, another student was taken into custody at the entrance to the South Campus of the university by undercover police officers. The number of detained students increased to 16 with this detention.
14 students were arrested
On April 4, nine of 16 detained Boğaziçi University students were arrested on charge of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization."
While another student was still in custody as the legal proceedings against the student had not yet been finalized, one more student, who had initiated a letter campaign for the arrested Boğaziçi University students and was also a member of the Marxist Thought Community (MFT), was taken into custody. One of the detained students was arrested and the other one was released on probation.
On May 10, another student from the department of sociology was arrested. (TP/BK/TK)
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