Students of Istanbul Technical University's (İTÜ) Foreign Languages Faculty launched a petition to stop a planned move of their school off of its scenic, and iconic downtown campus, news portal Sol reported on Jan. 19.
Another rector who was appointed, instead of being elected, İTÜ Prof. Dr. İsmail Koyuncu said in his 2021 action plan that the school would be moved out of its 19th-century building in downtown Istanbul to another campus located in the business district of Maslak.
While Koyuncu failed to answer questions about what would happen to the iconic building if the school moved out, students presented a signed petition to the administration on Jan. 18 pushing for a response.
The controversy over the İTÜ campus closely follows the Boğaziçi University protests against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's appointment of a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member as rector to the school.
The move was widely seen as a drastic interruption of academic freedom, and many critics pondered whether Ankara's eventual move was repurposing the school's campus on prime Istanbul land.