An administrative investigation has been launched against the students who allegedly opened a rainbow flag at the graduation ceremony in the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara.
As reported by Yıldız Tar from KaosGL, an investigation has been launched against more than 20 students from several faculties on the ground that "they organized the protest and distributed flags and whistles."
During their defence, the students were asked questions such as "Flag is an element of crime, did you distribute it", "Did you open the flag as a protest" and "Were there whistles".
"They try to block the support with investigations"
Speaking to KaosGL about the investigation, one student has said,
"A lot of students were actually carrying flags during the graduation ceremony, but, as we understood from the investigation process, they know that they cannot investigate that many people, so they decided to oppress the activists instead.
"Especially in recent years, both students and academics increased their support for LGBTI+ rights struggle at METU, so authorities try to block this support with investigations.
"They also try to marginalize us and criminalize our struggle. As we expressed during our pleas, protest is a democratic right and we used this right. The entire investigation process is anti-democratic and unfair. We have been accused but we do not know why. What is the crime here?"
After the Governorship of Ankara indefinitely banned all LGBTI events in the city, the METU Presidency banned the 8th METU Pride Parade and 2nd METU Pride Week events in 2018.
58 student organizations at METU denounced the ban and announced that they would hold the parade on May 11, 2018. The 8th METU Pride Parade was held with the participation of hundreds of students, chanting the slogan, "Ban all the bans."
After the pride parade, the deanships of the faculties of Economics and Administrative Sciences and Architecture and the directorate of the School of Foreign Languages launched an investigation against the students who allegedly took part in the parade.
The deanship of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences also launched a disciplinary investigation against the students who allegedly hung a rainbow flag on the Physics building.
At the graduation ceremony on July 6, students carried banners posing criticisms to the developments in the country and were attacked by the private security guards. After the protests, four students, who carried the banner with the caricature "Kingdom of Tayyips", were arrested. The students were released in their first hearing. (ÇT/SD)
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