Bulu, referring to the student protests, had said “it would end in 6 months”. And now after 6 months, he has been dismissed from his duties by a presidential decree.
The Boğaziçi protests had been continuing since January, when Melih Bulu was appointed as the rector of Boğaziçi University by the President’s order. The students and academics kept up their hopes and joined forces in keeping the protests alive. Today their protests have paid off. Melih Bulu was suddenly dismissed from his duty in the evening of July 14th by a Presidential decree. As the Civic Space Studies Association, we would like to stress that this achievement is the product of the 6-month struggle by all members of the university.
During the protests starting on January 2, over a thousand people were detained, students were arrested, barred from leaving the country, were given house arrest and faced violent assaults from security officers. Despite all of this violence, students did not give up and continued to resist. During the protests, students had not only asked for Melih Bulu’s resignation but for the resignation of all appointed rectors in universities. Today, the students remind the authorities of their demands. Students emphasize that academic autonomy and democracy will not be established solely by the dismissal of Melih Bulu. They demand that all of Melih Bulu’s staff resign and that they are immediately compensated for the violation of their rights during this past 6 months.
The reason for Bulu’s dismissal remains unknown, and we are all waiting to see who the new rector will be and how the rector will be chosen. We repeat our support for the demands of the students and academics and we hope that the new rector is appointed through a democratic and transparent election.
Note: You can read our updated chronology of the Boğaziçi Protests here.