Photograph: Birkan Uçar - "If there are police, violence and hate, then, there is no class"
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The students of Middle East Technical University (METU) have boycotted their classes to protest the interferences against their university and the police attack against the 9th Pride Parade on May 10, 2019.
Students also left a black wreath in front of the METU Presidency building yesterday (May 13).
Students have gathered together at their faculty and department buildings and walked towards the METU Presidency with slogans, banners and songs.
The equip of "METU Should be Defended" has expressed the students' demands on its social media account as following:
"Non-admission of the police to the campus under any circumstances. No ban on the events of the student clubs and groups. The protection of the traditions of METU such as Revolution Parade, Pride Parade, graduation ceremony and festivals."
Taleplerimiz çok açık;
1 - Kampüse hiçbir şartta polisin girişine izin verilmemesi.— ODTÜ Savunulmalıdır (@OdtuSavunulmali) 13 Mayıs 2019
2 – Öğrenci toplulukları ve gruplarının faaliyetlerinin engellenmemesi
3 – ODTÜ’deki Devrim Yürüyüşü, Onur Yürüyüşü, mezuniyet, şenlikler gibi geleneklerimizin korunması pic.twitter.com/RcCC4CZ2wN
Making a call to boycott the classes against police violence, METU students have gathered at their faculty and department buildings. Marching to the METU Presidency by chanting slogans, students have continued their protests with banners, slogans and songs there. Students have also chanted the slogan, "Verşan Kök cannot be a President to the METU."
Verşan Kök'ün çok korktuğu LGBTİ+ bayrakları rektörlük önünde dalgalanıyor pic.twitter.com/MBVoUQdUiz— ODTÜ Savunulmalıdır (@OdtuSavunulmali) 13 Mayıs 2019
Gathering in front of the METU Presidency building, 218 academics from the METU have also supported the students.
The statement made on behalf of the academicians reads:
"We condemn the police violence that our students and colleagues are exposed. Incidents of May 10 once more revealed that METU components and especially the common sense of our students should be trusted more, instead of law-enforcement officers."
Academics who have reminded the features of the academic establishments in terms of freedom of speech have demanded the administers to remember their responsibilities in METU for providing a free space for students as well as independent education and research events.
The statement for the press has been read out by METU student Oğuzhan Üzel on behalf of METU components in front of the METU Presidency building. Reading out the statement, Üzel has said, "The attack against our friends and professors in Pride Parade on May 10 have made us come together as the METU components to say 'Enough is enough'."
Underlining that "the pressures on student groups have incresed during the term of President Verşan Kök in office," Üzel has also stated that "what has been going on in METU is not a coincidence."
Concluding the statement, Oğuzhan Üzel has said, "We are still on our feet to endure equality and freedom in our university."
Students gathering together at their faculty and department buildings have also sent their messages with the banners:
"The only thing that I know is that I don't know anything. And, one more thing: Verşan Kök cannot be a President to the METU! Philosophy to the boycott"
"You are caught unprepared - Preparation Class to Boycott"
"Verşan, we get IRritated by you - Students of International Relations (IR)"
"At the end of the rainbow stands your resignation!"
* Photographs: Daily Evrensel and Twitter accounts of METU Must Be Defended and KaosGL