The Dean of the Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences had opened an investigation against Middle East Technical University (METU/ODTÜ) student Tunahan Gözlügöl, due to his article which was published on siyasihaber5.org “What Do You Know About Your Rector?” Tunahan Gözlügöl received a disciplinary warning on the grounds of “damaging the honor and dignity of the persons in the higher education institution by writing an article”. Expressions such as “fascist, coward, student enemy, misogynist, LGBTI+ phobic” used by Tunahan Gözlügöl, were deemed criminal.
“The disciplinary warning given to me proves the accuracy of the words I use.”
Tunahan Gözlügöl commented on the issue on sendika.org. He emphasized that the words “fascist” and “student enemy” in his article are the evidence of the subject of the warning:
It was unnecessary to open an investigation about me because of the article I wrote outside the METU institution. I have received a disciplinary warning. If the articles I wrote outside of the institution (university) are being followed (by the administration), it means that the METU administration has focused its attention on dissident students. In fact, I have heard that Verşan Kök (Prof. Dr., METU rector) is particularly interested in this investigation. Secondly, the opening of an investigation is a legal process carried out by the legal counsellor, and the unlawful operation of this investigation shows that the administration is afraid of dissident students. All of these are proof that my accusations (fascist, student enemy) subject to the warning are true.
Tunahan Gözlügöl, sendika.org
“I am Not Surprised Anymore”
Tunahan Gözlügöl stated that there have been problems between the Rector’s Office and the dissident students:
However, I am not surprised anymore. I have been investigated plenty of times for exercising my basic democratic rights, even for playing halay [a Turkish folk dance played together with drums and zurna]. The pro-government Verşan Kök and board of directors use the investigation and punishment mechanism as a means of putting pressure on us students. They have closed student communities that reveal the truth. Police attacked the Pride March, the Kavaklık Resistance (1). These are the proof that they are afraid of dissident students. However, we have the courage to make METU a free place, we are not afraid of pressure and disciplinary investigations, they cannot discourage us.
Tunahan Gözlügöl, sendika.org
(1) The Kavaklık Resistance: According to the protocol made by the METU Rectorate with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, 40 acres of land in the area of poplar forest in the METU campus was allocated to KYK (Credit Dormitories Institution) free of charge for 49 years. Construction of the KYK dormitory started on May 16th, 2019, after which the students set up tents in the area and kept watch. Police entered the area on July 8th and intervened the students. Hundreds of trees were cut down. In the lawsuit filed by the Middle East Technical University Alumni Association for the cancellation of the protocol signed on May 21st, 2018, the Ankara 11th Administrative Court found the protocol unlawful and ordered its cancellation on March 12th, 2020