Turkish court arrests one more Boğaziçi University student and sends him to jail

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Another Boğaziçi University student from the Department of Sociology has been arrested by a Turkish court and sent to İstanbul’s notorious Silivri Prison, increasing the number of arrested Boğaziçi students to 14.

According to a report by Bianet on Friday, the arrested student was detained at the school gate on May 5. Kept in detention at İstanbul’s Vatan Police Directorate until he was sent to İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan after the deposition proceedings were completed. The local court decided to arrest the student on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” and sent him to the Silivri Prison.

With this latest verdict, the number of arrested students in Silivri Prison has increased to 10. While four female students are kept in Bakırköy Women’s Closed Prison.

On March 19 a group of students opened a stand giving out Turkish delight in North Campus of Boğaziçi University following 46 soldiers losing their lives in Afrin province of Syria. A group of anti-war 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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruli,ng Justice and Development Party (AKP) Youth Branch protested the attack launched on the stand on March 20. In the statement for the press issued, the students were described as “terrorists.”

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”.

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.

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.”

On March 25, the police raided the dormitories and houses of the students. After the raids, three more 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.

On April 4, nine of 16 detained Boğaziçi University students were arrested on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.” While another student was still in custody as the legal proceedings against the student had not yet been finalized, one more student, who had initiated a letter campaign for the arrested Boğaziçi University students and was also a member of the Marxist Thought Community (MFT), was taken into custody. One of the detained students was arrested and the other one was released on probation.

On May 10, another student from the department of sociology was arrested. 14 Boğaziçi University students have been arrested so far during the investigation.

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