2021 Boğaziçi University protests

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2021 Boğaziçi University protests
Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Eylem 3.jpg
Date4 January 2021–present
Caused byAppointment of Melih Bulu as rector of Boğaziçi University
  • Resignation of Melih Bulu
  • Preservation of academic freedom and scientific autonomy
Resulted inOngoing
Parties to the civil conflict
Lead figures

The 2021 Boğaziçi University protests are demonstrations that started on 4 January against appointment of Melih Bulu by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as rector of Boğaziçi University, which is one of the top academic institutions in Turkey.

Background[edit source | edit]

Melih Bulu, who has ties to the ruling AKP, was appointed as rector by presidential decree on 2 January 2021. According to faculty, Bulu was the first rector chosen outside the university since the 1980 coup d'état.[10] After the coup Ergün Toğrol, who was an academician in Istanbul Technical University, had been appointed as the rector of Boğaziçi University.[11]

Protests[edit source | edit]

Hundreds began protesting on 4 January following the appointment, chanting slogans such as "Melih Bulu is not our rector" and "we don't want a plagiarist rector". In a shared statement, faculty regarded the appointment as a violation of "academic freedom and scientific autonomy, as well as the democratic values" of the Boğaziçi.[10][12]

One of university's buildings was sealed off by students who were able to enter the campus. Later, protesters clashed with the police as they tried to break a barricade in front of university entry, causing security forces to use pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators. Two students were detained in the course of protests.[10][13][14] By January 6, 36 students were in detention.[15] Protests by students and faculty outside the rector's office have continued into February,[16][17] with many other Turkish universities and Boğaziçi alumni associations abroad joining in protest against the appointment.[18]

As part of an art exhibition organized for the protest, an artwork on campus reportedly depicting the Kaaba alongside a LGBT flag and a figure of Shahmaran led to the arrest of four students, who were in the exhibition team.[19][20] Turkish Ministry of Interior Süleyman Soylu referred to the arrested students as "four LGBT perverts", causing Twitter to later restrict his tweet.[21]

On the 1st of February, police blocked the gate of the south campus to prevent demonstration. Water cannons, barricades and at least one sniper were installed.[22][23] Later that night, police stormed the campus and detained 159 students.[24][25][26] Several protestors in İzmir and 69 in Ankara were also detained.[27][28][29] On February 2, Turkish police arrested and detained 104 near the University in Kadıköy, and responded to demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets.[30] Citizens of Istanbul banged pots and pans in many parts of the city to show their solidarity with the protest.[31]

Reactions[edit source | edit]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "a routine appointment" was "being used to provoke the universities."[32] MHP chairman Devlet Bahçeli stated in his written statement that the rector was appointed by legal means and the issue was closed. Bahçeli added that the protesters should not "strain their chances" and "not get caught up in anarchist projects", describing the protests "a conspiracy that needs to be crushed."[33]

The mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu from the left-wing main opposition party CHP, supported the protests.[34] Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the chairwoman of the CHP branch in İstanbul also spoke in solidarity with the protest and was named by Erdoğan "a terrorist of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front." This led to a criminal complaint against the president by Kaftancıoğlu.[35]

23 days after the nomination of Bulu, no academic from the university has agreed to assist Bulu as vice-rector.[36][37]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Yıldız Teknik, ODTÜ ve Galatasaray Üniversitesi öğrencilerinden 'Melih Bulu' tepkisi". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr.
  2. "Ankara'da Boğaziçi eylemine müdahale: 30 gözaltı". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr.
  3. "TAÜ Haber #BogaziciDireniyor #BogaziciUniversity #KayyumRektoerİstemiyoruz".
  4. "Türk Alman Üniversitesi öğrencileri olarak Boğaziçili arkadaşlarımızın yanındayız!".
  5. https://twitter.com/geridonzamanTR/status/1356661254186807296
  6. "Boğaziçi'nde rektör protestosu". www.haberturk.com.
  7. "Yılmaz Özdil, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'ne atanan Melih Bulu tartışmalarını ve Süleyman Soylu'nun PKK yardakçıları ifadesini değerlendirdi". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr.
  8. "Dışarıdan AKP'li rektör atanmasını protesto eden öğrencilerden kan donduran ifadeler" (in Turkish). Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  9. "Boğaziçi eylemlerinde 10 kişiye ev hapsi". Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Reuters Staff (4 January 2021). "Turkish police clash with students protesting Erdogan-appointed university head". Reuters. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  11. "12 Eylül'den sonra ikinci". www.sozcu.com.tr. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  12. "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'nde Melih Bulu protestosu: 'Kayyum istemiyoruz'". birgun.net (in Turkish). Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  13. Presse, AFP-Agence France. "Hundreds Protest In Istanbul Against New University Rector". www.barrons.com. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  14. "Students in Turkey Protest Rector Tapped to Head University".
  15. "Boğaziçi students in Kadıköy: 'Release our friends from detention'". bianet.org. Retrieved 10 January 2021.
  16. English, Duvar (21 January 2021). "Boğaziçi University students hold Pride March on third week of protests against Erdoğan's rector". Duvar English. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  17. Gall, Carlotta (1 February 2021). "Prestigious Istanbul University Fights Erdogan's Reach". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  18. "Boğaziçi University starts resistance against government-appointed trustee rector '". Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  19. "Campus Guards intervene with Boğaziçi University Resistance Exhibition". dokuz8HABER (in Turkish). 28 January 2021. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  20. "TARGETED BY RECTOR, STATE OFFICIALS: Two Boğaziçi University students arrested, two placed under house arrest". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  21. "Twitter'dan Süleyman Soylu'nun nefret söylemi içeren tweetlerine kısıtlama". birgun.net (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  22. "Çok sayıda Boğaziçi Üniversitesi öğrencisi gözaltına alındı!". Jurnal Türkiye (in Turkish). 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  23. "Boğaziçi'nde yeni gözaltılar". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  24. "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'ndeki gösterilerde 159 kişi gözaltına alındı". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  25. "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Güney Kampüs'e polis girdi, öğrencilere müdahale etti". BBC News Türkçe (in Turkish). Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  26. "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'ne polis girdi, rektör Bulu'yu protesto eden onlarca öğrenci gözaltına alındı!". T24 (in Turkish). Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  27. "İzmir'de Boğaziçili öğrencilere destek eylemine polis müdahalesi; gözaltılar var". T24 (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  28. "Boğaziçi eylemlerinde gözaltı sayısı 228'e yükseldi: Öğrencilerin bir bölümü adliyeye sevk edildi". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  29. "Ankara'da Boğaziçi Üniversitesi ile dayanışma eylemine polis müdahalesi: Çok sayıda gözaltı var". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  30. "Kadıköy'de biber gazlı, plastik mermili müdahale!". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  31. "Istanbul: Festnahmen bei Studenten-Protesten". FAZ.NET (in German). ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  32. "Boğaziçi protestoları: Erdoğan, Soylu ve Kaftancıoğlu, gösteriler ve suçlamalar için ne dedi?". BBC Turkish Service (in Turkish). Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  33. "Bahçeli, Boğaziçi eylemlerini hedef aldı: Başı ezilmesi gereken bir komplo!". BirGün (in Turkish). Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  34. "Ekrem İmamoğlu'ndan Boğaziçi Üniversitesi öğrencilerine destek". Cumhuriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  35. "Erdogan zu den Uni-Demos: „Dahinter stecken Terroristen"". nex24 (in German). Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  36. Gazetesi, Evrensel. "Boğaziçi'nde akademisyenler Melih Bulu'nun yardımcılığını yapmayı kabul etmiyor". Evrensel.net (in Turkish). Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  37. "AKP'li Melih Bulu'nun atanmasından sonra kimse rektör yardımcılığı görevini kabul etmedi". www.cumhuriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 24 January 2021.

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