Ankara court: Student’s scholarship cannot be cancelled over participation in demonstration

An Ankara appeals court has ruled in favor of a university student who had her state scholarship cancelled for participating in a demonstration. The decision will set a precedent for other students in the same situation.

Duvar English

An Ankara appeals court has upheld a local court’s ruling that the state-run Student Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK) cannot cancel a university student’s scholarship on the grounds that they participated in a demonstration. The decision of the Ankara Regional Administrative Court will set a precedent for other students who had their scholarships cancelled for the same reason.    

The case concerns the application of Hacettepe University student Ezgi Orak who had participated in protests held for Boğaziçi University last year. Following these protests, the Ankara Provincial Police Department penned a letter to the KYK, under the Youth and Sports Ministry, demanding that Orak be given a “disciplinary penalty.” After this letter, the student lost her scholarship in August 2021, prompting her to sue the Youth and Sports Ministry at a local Ankara court.

In its defense, the ministry accused the student of “engaging in incidents of anarchy and terror and behaviors that violate freedom of education (resistance, boycott, invasion, graffiti, drawing and shouting slogans).”

The Ankara 5th Administrative Court ruled in favor of Orak, saying that the cancellation of the scholarship is against the law as the reason of “participating in illegal demonstrations” is not in the by-laws. The court also said that the KYK’s move would put the student in financial difficulty and is against the “principle of social state.”

Afterwards the Youth and Sports Ministry challenged the local court’s decision at the higher Ankara Regional Administrative Court which similarly gave a ruling in favor of the student.