Turkish prosecutors are seeking jail terms for 14 Boğaziçi University students for protesting the appointment of Prof. Dr. Naci İnci as the new rector of the prestigious university.
The first hearing of the case will be held on Jan. 7, 2022, ANKA news agency reported on Dec. 10.
On Oct. 4, Istanbul police detained 14 Boğaziçi University students on the campus for demanding İnci's resignation from his post. Of the 14 students, two were jailed on Oct. 6 and have been since held behind bars, whereas the rest of the 12 students have been freed pending trial.
The Istanbul Criminal Court of First Instance on Dec. 10 accepted the prosecutors' indictment and ruled for the continuation of Ersin Berke Gök and Caner Perit Özen's pre-trial detention.
Prof. İnci, the driver of the rector's office and two security guards have been listed as complainants in the indictment.
In his petition, Prof. İnci argued that the 14 students had blocked his official car, prevented it from going further, and staged a protest in front of it despite warnings.
He argued that Ersin Berkin Gök had mounted and jumped on his official car, made political hand gestures, and damaged the car.
Caner Perit Özen on the other hand was accused of hitting and dragging security official Faruk K. who was trying to dismount Ersin Berkin Gök off the vehicle.
The indictment demanded that the 14 students receive varying jail terms on charges of “participating in a demonstration in an unlawful way, not dispersing despite the warnings,” “depriving someone who was doing their public service of their liberty,” “resisting to have the job not done,” and “seizing a land transport vehicle.”
After the appointment of Prof. Dr. Melih Bulu as the rector by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in January, the university's students launched a protest demanding his resignation.
Following months-long protest, Bulu was eventually dismissed from his duty by Erdoğan in July. A month later in August, again via a presidential decree, it was Prof. İnci who assumed duty as the rector of the prestigious institution despite the high disapproval rates he received on polls held among the community.
Academics and students are continuing with their protest against İnci's appointment.