Boğaziçi community marks 1000th day of protests against Erdoğan's rector appointment

Boğaziçi University's community has marked their 1000th day of protesting against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rector appointments. The president's appointment without the academics' consent was considered a major breach of academic independence, and the Boğaziçi community has been staging protests on and off campus since Erdoğan's move.

Duvar English

A crowd of Boğaziçi University academics and students gathered on the school's main campus on Sept. 30 to mark the 1000th day of their resistance against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rector appointments to their school.

“We said it 1000 times: We don't accept! We won't give up!,” the community said on the 1000th day of their resistance despite a brutal crackdown on students by the government, with hundreds having been detained in protests against the rector appointment.

In a statement, the community reminded that police presence continued in and around Boğaziçi University campuses and that about 150 people, including faculty members, retired academics and graduates, were not allowed to enter the campuses.

They also mentioned the practices of the appointed rector Naci İnci, which severely damaged the reputation and functioning of the university. 

“Until the ideal of a university based on free, autonomous, democratic and participatory principles is realized in Turkey: We don't accept! We won't give up!,” they added.

What had happened?

After the appointment of pro-government figure Melih Bulu as the rector by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in January 2021, the university's students and academics launched a protest demanding his resignation.

Following months-long protest, Bulu was eventually dismissed from his duty by Erdoğan in July 2021. A month later in August, again via a presidential decree, it was Naci İnci who assumed duty as the rector of the prestigious institution despite the high disapproval rates he received on polls held among the community.

Academics and students are continuing with their protest against İnci's appointment. In this process, some students were detained and stayed behind bars for months while several renowned academics were dismissed.