Bogazici University students and academicians are using their basic human rights and protesting the appointment of the new rector into their university. But the Turkish Security forces are responding unfairly and undemocratically.
In a statement, the university faculty members declared that they would not accept President Erdogan’s appointment as the rector of Bogazici University, Melih Bulu since it violates the academic freedom and independence and the democratic values of Bogazici University.
Bulu was the first rector appointed from outside a university since a 1980 military coup and part of increasing the Turkish Government’s anti-democratic practices after the failed coup attached 2016.
Bogazici students gathered in front of the university to protest the appointment of Bulu.
“We do not want a trustee as a rector.”
“Melih Bulu is not our rector”
“The universities have been and always will be ours.”
“The universities will become free with us.”
Police have arrested 36 university students due to protesting Melih Bulu as rector of Boğaziçi University since the protests began. Security forces on Tuesday began arresting protesters and carrying out raids on students’ homes.
Sixty-three alumni of Boğaziçi University, including writers and artists, have released a joint statement against a pro-government rector’s appointment.
A rector appointed without a democratic process would harm the traditional values that Boğaziçi has represented for 150 years, they said and cited the principles that the university accepted in 2012:
- It is indispensable for scientific and social development that universities are not exposed to any person or institution’s influence or pressure and not used as a political instrument.
- It is essential for autonomy that democratically elected committees and academic administrators have the decision-making authority. Educational administrators such as rectos, demand, institution directors, academy directors, and department chairs should be determined not by appointments but by-elections.
- It is a condition of scientific freedom and creativity that universities, as autonomous constitutional institutions, determine their academic programs and research programs with academic staff and/or university committees’ decisions.
“Considering the contribution of freedom of thought to human creativity, we put our signature under the basic values stated above to maintain the free and democratic environment, which is in the tradition of Boğaziçi University,” says the statement.
 Melih Bulu was appointed rector on January 1 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and is a member of his ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. He was rector of Halic University in Istanbul before assuming his new post.