ODTÜ graduation ceremony to be held at Devrim Stadium after protest by students

Following protest by students, the rector's office of ODTÜ took a step back and announced the holding of the graduation ceremony at the Devrim (Revolution) Stadium on July 26.

ODTÜ students hold a banner reading 'Resisting is in ODTÜ's nature,' in reference to remarks by President Erdoğan disputing gender equality as "against nature."

Duvar English

The rector’s office of Ankara's prestigious Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in May announced that the graduation ceremony would be held on July 20 at its usual location, the Devrim (Revolution) Stadium. However, soon after this announcement, the rector's office changed the academic calendar and said that instead separate ceremonies would be held at the faculties between July 24-28.

Upon this, ODTÜ students on July 9 released a notice titled “We are not giving up on our graduation” and said that they would hold an alternative graduation ceremony at Devrim Stadium, despite the ban, as was also the case in 2021 and 2022, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service.

They also launched a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag of #DevrimdeMezuniyetEngellenemez, which translates as “Graduation can’t be prevented at Devrim (Stadium).”

On July 11, ODTÜ rector’s office released a surprising announcement on social media, saying that the mass graduation ceremony would be held on July 26 at the Devrim Stadium, as originally planned.

ODTÜ's graduation ceremonies are known with newly grads giving various messages about social issues with banners. In 2019, during the last official graduation ceremony held at the stadium, ODTÜ students' banners about the decisive victory of Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu had left a mark on the ceremony. Since then, the rector's office has canceled the ceremony at Devrim Stadium citing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, defying the ban, students managed to organize an alternative mass ceremony in 2021 and 2022.  

ODTÜ’s stadium is known as “Devrim” because some students in 1971 inscribed the word in giant letters with bleachers on its stands. The tradition was repeated annually during the university spring festival until recently. And not only it is still there, it has named the stadium and is ODTÜ's unofficial motto.