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Families of Boğaziçi University students, who have been arrested after protesting other students distributing Turkish delight at campus in memory of the soldiers that have lost their lives during the Afrin operation of Turkey, made a statement for press at İstanbul Medical Chamber today (April 10).
In the statement read out by Bülent Yılmaz, the father of the arrested student Deniz Yılmaz, the incidents that unfolded on March 19 were referred to and it was stated, “Our children have been targeted.”
At the end of the statement, Yılmaz demanded that those who targeted their children apologize, their children be released and the unlawfulness in question come to an end.
A woman stood up at the end of the statement and said, “Illiterate private security guards are beating our children everyday. Until it came to Boğaziçi, nobody raised their voices about it. We cannot sleep, wondering whether they will knock on our doors today. Please do not discriminate, they are all our children.”
Attendants to the statement for press
Apart from a large number of academics and students, the statement for press was attended by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Chair Kani Beko, Turkish Medical Association (TTB) Chair Raşit Tükel, Confederation of Public Employees Trade Union (KESK) Co-Chair Aysun Gezen, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Prof. Dr. Gençay Gürsoy, Motherland Party (ANAP) former Chair Nesrin Nas, DİSK Secretary General Arzu Çerkezoğlu, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), Chamber of Mechanical Engineers (MMO) Chair Battal Kılıç, İstanbul Medical Chamber (İTO) Secretary Samet Mengüç, Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) Board of Presidents Member Alper Taş, Labor Party (EMEP) Central Executive Board Member Levent Tüzel and People’s Houses Co-Chair Nuri Günay.
On March 19 (Monday) a group of students opened a stand giving out Turkish delight in North Campus following 46 soldiers losing their lives in Afrin. A group of antiwar students protested them by opening a banner reading “Invasion, massacre cannot be marked with Turkish delight”. A quarrel sparked between the two groups and the stand was reportedly attacked.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) Youth Branch in police control protested the attack launched on the stand on March 20. In the statement for the press issued, the students were described as “terrorists”.
Statements by university presidency and Higher Education Board
In its statement, Boğaziçi University Presidency has said, “We find the attack carried out on the stand unacceptable like any patriot”.
“Security forces intervened in the aforementioned demonstrations that were held without approval of our university administration. Necessary investigations and disciplinary procedures have been launched into this hostile demonstration”.
In its statement, the Higher Education Board (YÖK) has said, “In order to avoid such incidents causing public indignation, necessary precautions to be taken including amendment in regulations will be concluded by negotiating. This process has been commenced”.
Police entered campus
Five anti-war students were detained by police during home and dormitory raids on March 22.
In protest of the detentions, students released a statement on social media calling for a rally in the North Campus. The statement read:
“Detention of the students who weren’t even in the campus at the time of the incident is a proof that the attack has been turned into a witch hunt by the government to oppress the opposition in the university”.
Prior to the rally time, Anti-Terror teams entering the campus detained seven students by dragging them on the floor. Taken to Gayrettepe Security Directorate and detained there, the students were released on the same day.
Erdoğan called the students “terrorist”
On March 24, Saturday, Erdoğan said, “Those communist, traitor terrorist youngsters scattered the desk. We will not grant those youngsters right to education at university.”
16 students in total were taken into custody
On March 25, the police raided the dormitories and houses of the students. After the raids, three Boğaziçi University students, who are also members of the Marxist Thought Community, were taken into custody.
On March 26, three other students were detained after their houses and dormitories were raided by police.
On March 31, two more students from Boğaziçi University were detained.
On April 2, another student was taken into custody at the entrance to the South Campus of the university by undercover police officers. The number of detained students increased to 16 with this detention.
Nine students have been arrested
On April 4, nine of 16 detained Boğaziçi University students were arrested on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” (TP/SD)