On March 30, Ömer Şengel was released from prison. Şengel was arrested in the protests in Kadıköy on February 2. At the time of writing, out of the 11 students who have been arrested while on trial, two are still in prison.
On March 30, İstanbul Technical University (İTÜ) administration changed the regulations on student clubs to the detriment of the students’ autonomy. İTÜ Solidarity protested against the change and stated that it regards it as an attack against the culture of student clubs. The new regulations significantly reduced the decision making capacity of students. According to the regulations, the student clubs will be closed if their social media posts and other activities do not match the designated club activities. The regulations also require a member of the teaching staff to be present in student trips organized by clubs.
On April 2, the hearing for the 23 students arrested in the Kadıköy protests on February 2 took place at Anadolu Courthouse 38th Court of First Instance. The students stood trial on charges on disobeying Article No 2911 of the Law on Demonstrations and Marches. The attorneys who wished to follow the hearing were at first not allowed in the courtroom, however thanks to their insistence they were later accepted in.
In their defense statements, the students emphasized that participating in protests is a constitutional right and that they were violently assaulted by the police. Altınok, who had been on house arrest, stressed that electronic tags were introduced in Turkey to tackle domestic violence, yet was only used against 79 assailants and are now used against the students.
When the court reconvened after a break, there were police officers present in the courtroom. Following the objections of the defendants’ lawyers, police officers were sent out. Student defendant Doğan stated that he was not allowed to reach his family or lawyer for hours in detention. Doğan also stated that he refused to wear the electronic tag while under house arrest, as he was arrested for exercising his right to protest. Another defendant Delipalta underlined that students are an important part of the university, have a say in their administration, and that they should not be marginalized for exercising their autonomy.
While their friends were giving their defense statements, students gathered in front of the courthouse and gave a press statement, stating: “We are here today to take back Anıl and Şilan, we will not leave until we take our friends. We know that it is the autonomy of the university on trial today”.
Anıl and Şilan, who were being held in remand, were released after the hearing and all electronic tags and judicial control conditions for the defendants were lifted.