Dormitory crisis forces Turkey’s Munzur University students to sleep in study rooms

Because of insufficient dormitory capacity at Turkey’s Munzur University, students are being distributed among multiple dormitories, compelled to sleep in study rooms.

Duygu Kıt / Gazete Duvar

The 2008-established Munzur University in Dersim province, located in eastern Turkey, is facing a severe shortage of dormitory space.

Despite having over 7,000 students enrolled, the existing dormitories can only accommodate 3,000. To add insult to injury, the construction of an additional dormitory, the Munzur Dormitory, remains unfinished.

According to students speaking anonymously to Gazete Duvar, this has led to overcrowding, students being dispersed across various dorms, study rooms being repurposed to handle overflow, and even some students being forced to sleep out of the dormitories.

The current situation has made studying impossible, a second-year Applied English Translation student at the university said, noting that they had never had a designated dorm bed since their arrival. As a result, the students have to switch rooms consistently.

"We are afraid to open our suitcases and place our belongings in the cabinets, in case the actual owners of the beds we stay in return," the student said, adding that they are fed up with the uncertainty of accomadtion every time they go to university. "Let the school administration find a solution to our problem."

‘There is no place left’

Approximately 170 students were distributed across three different dormitories due to the Munzur Dormitory not being opened, students told Duvar.

"At the beginning of the semester, Munzur Dormitory was made available for us. But because the roads and electricity haven’t been done it hasn’t been opened," another student said.

Meanwhile, study rooms in the Tunceli KYK Girls’ Dormitory have been converted into makeshift bedrooms, accommodating up to 17 people each, leaving little space for studying.

"In the first semester, we were staying in the rectorate’s guest house on campus, but we were evicted without any reason," the student said, adding that they are currently staying with 20 people in the Tunceli KYK Dormitory study room. "This is not only a difficult situation for us, but also for the dormitory’s residents, as there is no place left for anyone to work."

An official of the Tunceli KYK Dormitory said to Duvar that these arrangements are temporary and would be resolved in a couple of weeks, calling it “a small hiccup.”

Row of scandals

These allegations come on the heels of several scandals and accidents occurring at Turkey’s state-run KYK dorms, such as faulty elevators leading to fatal accidents.

Additionally, Munzur University has faced scrutiny for offering courses that do not exist and opening a Psychology Department without qualified professors.

(English version by Wouter Massink)