Erdoğan allows university rectors to guard 'public order' amid Boğaziçi protests

President Erdoğan ordered his party to conduct necessary legal regulations to allow for university rectors to protect "public order," the daily Hürriyet reported on Oct. 7, as protests against the appointed rector in Istanbul's Boğaziçi University have heated up at the start of the new academic term.

Police barricade outside Boğaziçi University is seen in this file photo.

Duvar English

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered his party to carry out legal regulations to allow for university rectors to "take initiative to ensure public order," the daily Hürriyet reported on Oct. 7. 

Erdoğan's move comes amid heated protests against appointed rector at Boğaziçi University Naci İnci, where students have once more rallied against the breach of academic freedom at the start of the new academic term. 

Ten Boğaziçi students were detained on Oct. 5 for protesting İnci some nine months after the president appointed a party member as rector to the prestigious institution. 

Erdoğan reportedly took the decision during an Oct. 5 meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) where party members encouraged a harsher reaction to the students' protest. 

"Everything should be done for public order. The rectors should take initiative. Start the necessary work to allow for rectors' authority," the president reportedly said during the meeting. 

The daily Cumhuriyet also reported that in the same meeting some AKP members called for harsher repercussions on the students, and that the president conceded. 

'Appointed rector named students for detention'

The 10 students detained on Oct. 5, two of whom were arrested the day after, were revealed to have been pointed out by appointed rector İnci, online news portal Gerçek Gündem reported on Oct. 6. 

İnci reportedly sent a letter to the police with the names of 14 students whom he accused of threats, insults, property damage and hindering his duties, all of which he said were violations of the Meeting and Demonstration Law.

The rector said that students' slogans and signs of "no passage to the appointed rector" and "off with the appointed rector" were proof of their crimes. 

İnci also said that students stopped his car on campus and insulted him, petitioning for public prosecution of the demonstrators whom he named.