The tension between the student protesters and the appointed rector of Turkey’s prestigious Boğaziçi University continues to escalate. On October 22, 2021, the campus security removed the protesting students’ tent from the South Campus, where they were holding a vigil as a symbol of their resistance to the illegitimate, top-down administrative appointments.
Photo credit: Bianet
In protest of the removal of their tent, several students staged a sit-in in front of the Rectorate. The riot police, allowed on campus by the Rector’s Office, surrounded the students who wanted to share a public statement, and detained 45 of them.
On October 23, the Boğaziçi faculty released a public statement in support of the student protesters. condemning the police violence and detentions of students at the campus on October 22. They again demanded the resignation of the illegitimate university administration. The statement also underlined that the detention of 45 students at Boğaziçi University, which is a public institution, violates their constitutionally guaranteed rights to hold a peaceful protest and exercise their freedom of speech and of association in public spaces.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide (ESW) condemns the Turkish government’s recurring attacks on academic freedom and the constitutional autonomy of higher education institutions in Turkey. The ongoing tensions in Turkey have had a profoundly negative effect on academic freedom and continue to pose a grave threat to higher education on a national scale. ESW urges the Turkish authorities to respect and guarantee the autonomy of higher education in Turkey and to implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties, and to drop any charges against the accused arising from their nonviolent exercise of the rights to expression, association, and assembly.