The Turkish police in the cities of Ankara and Istanbul dispersed student protests against the appointment of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an academic close to him, to head one of Istanbul’s oldest universities.
– Barış Atay (@barisatay) February 2, 2021
On January 1, the Turkish president issued a decree appointing Professor Melih Polo as president of Bogazici University, one of the oldest and most prestigious Turkish universities, which sparked protests by university students and staff. On January 2, against Erdogan’s decision to appoint a close associate, and a member of the Justice and Development Party, to the university presidency, in violation of democratic norms in Turkish universities, where the university president comes through elections.
Istanbul and Ankara witnessed Tuesday , Protests during which Istanbul police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the demonstrators who gathered in the “Qazikoy” area on the Asian side, at the invitation of the civil society group for the forces of labor, peace and democracy in Istanbul.
According to local media reports, many people were beaten and arrested during the police intervention, while the demonstrators chanted slogans “shoulder to shoulder against fascism” and carried placards reading “We will never look down”. The police also attacked journalists and tried to prevent them from Covering the protests.
Support increased in more than one state for students of the University of “Bogazici” (Bosphorus in Turkish), After a video clip of a police officer spread on February 1, asking one of the students to look down, which sparked outrage because of the officer’s treatment of the university student, and the slogan “We will not look down” became a topic on Twitter as soon as the video was published.
– Barış Atay (@barisatay) February 2, 2021
In response to this video, the General Directorate of Security in Istanbul issued a statement, which it published on its social media accounts, refuting “allegations of insulting police officers to students who walked in groups From the Etiler region to the University of Bogazici, and telling the students that they should look down, ”asserting that these words are false.
The protesters set out on Tuesday, to the” Kadi Koy “Square after the office was banned. Governor of the region all demonstrations for a period of seven days under the pretext of precautionary measures to combat the Corona epidemic, in conjunction with a similar decision by the governor of Istanbul to prohibit gatherings and demonstrations in the areas where the campus of “Bogazici” University is located, until February 5.
A student, Barış Arefoglu, who is one of the activists in organizing protests at the University of Bogazici, affirmed that the protest movement will continue, and that the students will not back down from their demand for the resignation of Melih Bulu.
He drew Barış Arefoglu in contact with Al-Arabiya.net, to the increase in local support for students in their protest, “Today in the Qazıköy neighborhood, the people came out of their balconies to support us, some of them started knocking on pots as a way to support us morally.”
The president of the university, close to Erdogan
Ankara’da işkence var !!!
Ankara’da Boğaziçi ile dayanışmak için toplanan arkadaşlarımıza polisler saldırdı! 3’ü Öğrenci İnisiyatifi üyesi, en az 6 arkadaşımız gözaltına alındı! # BogaziciDireniyor # AsagiBakmayacagiz # BoğaziçiAblukada pic.twitter.com/iMcxbElaq February, 20rÖenciyifi (2)
In turn, Aisha Altun told Al-Arabiya.net, that the student protests, which have been going on for a month, have prevented until the moment the university president, who is close to Erdogan, from carrying out his duties, as the teaching staff is sympathetic to the students, Yesterday, after one of the administrative cadres agreed to occupy the position of advisor to the university president, he retreated due to the escalation of protests. I believe that the protests are bearing fruit, and we will not stop in the middle of the road. From the Middle East Technical University, in support of their counterparts in Istanbul, the police responded by using force to disperse the demonstrators.
Student organizations confirmed the arrest of 6 participants in the capital’s protests, without any official statement from the police, about the number of students The detainees, while activists circulated on social media pictures of what they said were attacks on protesters in the capital by the Turkish police.
On Monday, the Turkish authorities confirmed the arrest of more than 150 Bogazici students. “In Istanbul, local media confirmed later that 98 of the students would be released.