Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation into 16 academics of Istanbul's Boğaziçi University for protesting the appointment of Prof. Dr. Melih Bulu as the rector of the prestigious university earlier this year.
The investigation was launched following the application of current rector Prof. Dr. Naci İnci who demanded that the academics be given a penalty for turning their backs to the rector's office and placing a sign reading “trustee” on the building, online news outlet Diken reported on Dec. 9.
The university administration claimed that the academics had violated the Misdemeanor Law and the Law on Demonstrations and Public Meetings. The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has summoned the academics for their testimonies.
After the appointment of Bulu as the rector by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in January, the university's students launched a protest demanding his resignation.
The academics joined in with the students' protest, turning their backs to the rector's office almost every day and refusing to accept any instruction from him.
In July, the university launched a disciplinary investigation into a group of students for writing “trustee” on the rector's office. The academics said that they would not accept this disciplinary investigation as it violated the freedom of expression, and similarly started to place a sign reading “trustee” on the rector's office -- in solidarity with the students.
Following months-long protest, Bulu was eventually dismissed from his duty by Erdoğan in July. A month later in August, again via a presidential decree, it was Prof. 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.