Turkish court stops rectorate banning students from entering campus over fear of protests

A Turkish court issued a stay of execution on the Boğaziçi University administration's decision to ban 16 students from entering the campuses "on suspicion of protesting against the rectorate.”

Boğaziçi students organize a protest against the rectorate's decision on faculties.

Duvar English

A Turkish Court has issued a stay of execution on the decision of the rectorate of Istanbul’s prestigious Boğaziçi University to ban 16 students from entering the school amid the ongoing protests in the university against rectorate’s decisions to change the administrative organization of the university, according to the reporting of the online news outlet Diken.

Students on Dec. 19, 2023 began to protest after the news spread that the university senate would vote on the decision to close some faculties and to relocate some departments to new faculties.

The senate on Dec. 20 decided to split the Faculty of Science and Literature and to close the Faculty of Managerial Sciences and affiliate it to the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences as an attempt to continuing efforts to infiltrate the administrative units of the university and curb autonomy. 

The student protests continued after this decision and the Student Representative Board o announced that they would start a “democratic university vigil” from Dec. 25.

Between Dec. 25-28, the rectorate deactivated the student cards of at least 16 students and banned them from entering the campuses. Some of the students were staying in the dormitories on the campus. 

The students then filed a lawsuit for the cancellation of the decision and demanded a stay of execution.

Some time after cancelling the students' cards, the school administration notified the students via e-mail that they were suspended from school for one month. Disciplinary committees did not convene to investigate the students and students’ defense were not taken.

The court issued a stay of execution upon the application of two students. The court issued a stay of execution decision and gave school administration for 30 days to defend its decision “Since the procedure subject to the lawsuit is related to the right to education and may cause irreparable damage if implemented.”

According to the information obtained by Diken, the card of the students banned from entering the school was currently active as of Jan. 2.

In 2021, Turkish President Erdoğan appointed Naci İnci, a pro-government figure who took harsh stance against student and academics, as the rector of the university. 

Students, academics, and alumni have deemed him as a "trustee" of the government as İnci has been targeting students, dismissing academics, and banning alumni from entering campuses if they were not in line with the government.

İnci has often invited police to enter university campus to detain students and recently threaten students with "arrest" if they continue their protests when some pro-government figures visited university to "celebrate" 160 anniversary of its foundation.