Boğaziçi University students protesting trustee president detained

Following the protest organized by the students of Boğaziçi University against the appointment of the pro-AKP Melih Bulu as the new rector, many students detained at night.
Wednesday, 06 January 2021 13:04

Monday, İstanbul’s Boğaziçi University students organized a major protest against the appointment of pro-AKP Melih Bulu as the rector, saying, "We do not want the trustee rector".

Many Boğaziçi students were detained after home raids by the police. 17 students were detained, and there are search warrants for 11 other students.

Academic staff of the Boğaziçi University protested the appointment by turning their backs to the rectorate. Some instructors also canceled the classes. In the statement made by the academicians, they also demanded that the detainees be released.

Students who held another protest today asked for their friends to be released.

In a statement made by the governorship of İstanbul, the students who have been detained were targeted by using the phrase "fugitive" and stated as "the police have done their duty."

İsmail Çataklı, Turkey’s Deputy Minister of the Interior, spoke to the protests at the Boğaziçi University on the ministry’s monthly press briefing. Accusing the students, Çataklı said: "The slogan shouted against the Turkish police during the protest at the Boğaziçi University is beyond limits and made us extremely upset. It is not possible for us to accept that our police are being called murderers and remain silent."


In the statement made by the lawyer of detained students, it is stated that unlawful action was taken, including the violence directed to the students.

Making a statement regarding the detainment of 17 students, the lawyer, Ezgi Önalan, said, "They were faced with the imposition of a naked search in the morning. While detained, there are those who have their phones seized, there are those who have been battered, there are batter reports."

"17 people are being held, there are other people with a search warrant, a total of 28 people,” Önalan said regarding the allegations. “There are allegations of resisting the police. We know that this operation is unnecessary and unlawful”.

In the statement made by the Istanbul Police Department, it was determined that people who made a press release and protested under the name of 'We do not want a trustee rector in our university' in front of the Main Entrance Gate of Boğaziçi University, committed the crimes of 'Opposition to the Law' and 'Resistance to the Duty Officer' during the demonstrations. It was said that the operation was carried out to arrest 28 suspects.

Bulu, a 1992 METU graduate, is known for being pro-AKP. Drawing attention with his commitment to the market economy that cares about the private sector, Bulu's career in AKP goes back to the party’s establishment. Bulu also served as İstanbul’s deputy of the provincial head in charge of the economy during the rule of AKP. Bulu was an AKP candidate for the Ataşehir Municipality in the local elections in 2009, and in the 2015 general elections, he was a candidate for Istanbul deputy from the AKP. He also served as the rector of two more universities before Boğaziçi University.

In the first statement made by Bulu after his appointment, the emphasis on commercializing the knowledge was apparent. "The development of the ecosystem that will commercialize the new knowledge produced not only by our students but also by our professors, will be an important issue in the next 4 years. We are all on the same boat," said Bulu, adding that we should not engage the discussions that have no relation to the Boğaziçi University.


Communist Youth of Turkey (TKG) also made a statement regarding the events that started with the appointment.

The statement is as follows:

What happened in recent days reminded us that: Political power in Turkey, no matter how much they push, cannot cross the line. Students of the Boğaziçi University reminded AKP of that line again.

AKP, which occupied the parliament, unions, and even the opposition parties with its mentality, again hit a wall at the university. We would like to remind Boğaziçi University students and all our citizens that they will try to disband the wall as they could not pierce it.

This is why they claimed it was "not political" decision to appoint a party militant to the head of the university. After no one believed this nonsense, the activists were labeled as terrorists. But this label can no longer go beyond satisfying a few fascists.

Who can convince AKP? Families who they declared terrorists the day before, the miners that they dragged on the ground to avoid harm to the bosses, or tens of thousands that they couldn't silence after the murdered women?

Whatever labels the AKP and its militants try to put on, in Turkey, this is the only legitimate and strong front. Our friends who were detained in a house raid at night, are the ones they want to intimidate. You must have already understood that neither the universities nor the country will surrender to your stick of fear.

Immediately release our detained friends! Neither Boğaziçi University will be a company, nor the AKP official will be the rector!