Some 600 people have been detained in Turkey since 4 January after protests against the government’s appointment of Melih Bulu as head of Boğaziçi University spread in Istanbul and Ankara. Most have been released, despite repeated statements from officials that the protesters are “terrorists”.
Boğaziçi University students have sent an open letter to Turkish President Erdoğan. Excerpts:
“You are not a sultan and we are not your subjects. All our friends who have been arrested or detained in this period must be released immediately and rector Melih Bulu must resign!
“You appointed a trustee rector to our university with utter disregard for the students and faculty. Is what you did legal? Yes, as you like to mention every chance you get, but it is not legitimate.
“To top it off, you open [new] faculties and appoint deans with an overnight presidential order on a Friday night, in order to intimidate the whole institution with all its students, teachers and labourers.
“All campaigns to defame and disenfranchise our LGBTI+ friends and all other targeted groups must end!
“All government-appointed trustees, starting with Melih Bulu, must resign!
“In universities, democratic rectorate elections must be held with the participation of all constituents of the university!
“Members of your party attacked miners in Soma. We actively stood in solidarity with the mine workers, and we will continue to do so...”
• Abridged: more here