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We stand with Boğaziçi University students and faculty in their struggle for academic freedom and autonomy

See the original call for solidarity HERE

January 8, 2021 (17:00 EST)

Turkey’s AKP government continues to undermine the rights and freedoms of individuals as well as the principle of autonomy of universities and civic organizations. Most recently, Turkish police have attacked and detained dozens of students who peacefully protested the AKP’s attempt to assert political control over Boğaziçi University in İstanbul.

On January 1, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used an emergency decree from 2016 (KHK 676) to appoint Professor Melih Bulu, a loyal member of the ruling party, rector of Boğaziçi University. Bulu is not a member of the Boğaziçi University faculty, which violates the established rules and practices of University governance.[1]

This brazen attempt by President Erdoğan to bring Boğaziçi University under his control has sparked widespread faculty and student protest.[2] The government’s response has been brutal. Erdoğan has called the students “terrorists” and LGBTI+ students in particular have been singled out for harassment.[3] The police have conducted home raids with guns drawn, detained and strip searched protestors, and engaged in torture.[4]

We the undersigned condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with the students and faculty of Boğaziçi University. We call upon Professor Bulu to decline the position and we call upon the Turkish government to release any students still in custody, withdraw all charges, and respect academic freedom and university autonomy.

Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Sign the petition HERE.