Istanbul district governor bans demonstrations to block Boğaziçi University protests

Istanbul's Kadıköy district governor's office banned all demonstrations on April 1, noting a call for a meeting by Boğaziçi University students. The students called to meet in Kadıköy to ask for the release of their friends in police detention, two among hundreds who have faced backlash for protesting the president's rector appointment to Boğaziçi University on Jan. 2.

A protest against President Erdoğan's appointment of a party member to Boğaziçi University is held in Istanbul's Kadıköy district on Jan. 6.

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Istanbul's Kadıköy District Governor's Office banned demonstrations on April 1, when a group of Boğaziçi University students was due to gather at the ferry docks in Kadıköy to call for the release of their friends in detention.

"It was detected that some civil society organizations and groups were calling for a meeting in the Kadıköy ferry docks on April 1 at 5 p.m.," the district governor's statement noted, marking the exact time and place that the students pointed to. 

"We're at the Kadıköy docks on Thursday April 1 at 5 p.m. TO GET BACK OUR FREEDOM, OUR FRIENDS, OUR CAMPUSES!" the Boğaziçi Solidarity account tweeted on March 31. 

The district governor's office said that the demonstration ban was implemented because the demonstration in question would "have a negative impact on society's protection from the pandemic."

Ankara has recently come under fire for their double standards about gatherings, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holding a massive national congress on March 24 while local governments take actions to block other demonstrations.

The Boğaziçi community has also faced increasing oppression from the government since the president's appointment of a party member as a rector to the university. 

Students and academics from not just Boğaziçi University but all around the world have been protesting the president's appointment, viewed widely as a breach of academic freedom. 

Hundreds of protesters have been detained by police in protests against the president's appointment since Jan. 1, and two students, Anıl and Şilan, remain in custody pending trial on April 2.