The Protests Against the Appointed Rector at Boğaziçi University Continues

The protests against the appointed rector at Boğaziçi University (BU) started on January 4 continued yesterday at Boğaziçi University, Çağlayan Courthouse and the Kadıköy neighbourhood in İstanbul. Support protests have also been held in several other cities across Turkey. As of yesterday evening 36 students were detained in Istanbul, and the depositions of 24 of the detainees were taken and sent to court. In the evening, the prosecutor demanded the release of one protestor, the arrest of two protestors and the release of twenty one students on the condition of judicial control. As the judge overruled the prosecutor’s demand for arrest, the two protestors were released on the condition of judicial control. The remaining detainees will be giving their depositions today. The released students were greeted by their friends who had gathered in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse and repeated their slogan, “Defending the University is not a Crime”.

Students released from detention have reported that they were detained after their houses were raided in the early morning, they waited for hours with their hands handcuffed behind their backs. They were subjected to strip searches, threatened with rape and tortured at Vatan Directorate of Security.

Today in various cities across Turkey students are organizing protests to support the #WeDoNotWantATrusteeRector protests. University clubs and groups continue to post calls and support messages on their social media accounts. At midday, Boğaziçi University students will come together at South Campus to show solidarity and to stand with their lecturers.

What happened?

Yesterday, university students and student organizations continued protesting against the appointment of a trustee rector in Boğaziçi University and demanded the release of more than 30 students detained in the protests. Student clubs and societies have issued statements that they offer their support in solidarity with Boğaziçi University students. Boğaziçi students continued to boycott their classes and have added a border to their social media profile pıctures with the words #KayyumRektörİstemiyoruz (We do not want a trustee rector).

Yesterday two students were detained in front of the National Library during the protest held in Ankara to support the BU students. The students were chanting the slogan: “We do not want a trustee rector!” and carried a banner that read “METU Stands with Boğaziçi”. The students carried out their protests in spite of the police announcement and two students were detained. The students were released after two hours of detention.  

Boğaziçi University alumni also organized a petition titled “We Also Do Not Accept”. More than 4000 signatures have so far been collected. The campaign continues on

Due to the police barricade closing the campus premises, Boğaziçi Solidarity moved the protest from university gates to an earlier time and to the front of Rectorate Building. Only Boğaziçi University students were able to attend this protest. The solidarity group repeated the open call for solidarity and invited academics, artists, students, and anyone else willing to join in their protest in the Istanbul neighbourhood of Kadıköy at 16.00.

The students continued their protests all through the day at the South Campus against Melih Bulu who is now in office. The students then took the ferry to Kadıköy and met others, staging a crowded protest there.