Medical examinations of 24 Boğaziçi students revealed that they were battered by police after they were detained in home raids on Jan. 5 and 6 for protesting against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's appointment of a rector to their university, daily Hürriyet reported on Jan. 7.
Student demonstrations have been urging Melih Bulu, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), to resign from his post immediately, as his appointment via presidential decree violates the democratic process of rectorial elections.
Police teargassed and violently attacked students during the first day of protests in front of Boğaziçi University's main gate, and the 24 detainees' medical examinations on Jan. 7 confirmed battery.
Twenty-four students were transferred to the Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse after their medical examinations on Jan. 7, and were reportedly battered while police handcuffed them.
The prosecutors asked the court to release 22 of the students, but remand the other two.
The group known as Boğaziçi Solidarity ("Boğaziçi Dayanışması") tweeted late on Jan. 7 that all of the 24 students were released, as the court rejected the prosecutors' demand.
Tutuklanma talebiyle mahkemeye sevk edilen iki arkadaşımız da SERBEST!— Boğaziçi Dayanışması (@boundayanisma) January 7, 2021
Unutmak Yok Affetmek Yok!
Kayyumlar Gidecek Biz Kalacağız! pic.twitter.com/4tHLqmPtJg
Sixteen other students who were detained in home raids over the past few days are still being processed at the Istanbul Police Headquarters. The students have been accused of violating the Turkish Protest and Demonstration Marches Code.
Police attitudes towards the demonstrations have been increasingly aggressive over the past three days, as officers teargassed crowds on the first day of protests against Bulu's appointment, and subsequently detained protesters.
A crowd of students from not just Boğaziçi, but other organizations as well, gathered in front of the courthouse to read a press statement as their friends were brought in.
"The youth wasn't subdued by your bans and they won't be tired out by detentions. Our friends will be freed, and the appointed university officials will leave."
Meanwhile across the Bosphorus, Boğaziçi students organized a march along the city's Bosphorus coastline on the Anatolian side, demanding the release of their friends, and Bulu's immediate resignation.