Photo: “Release our friends, release the students.” Credit — Communist Youth of Turkey
The Party for Socialism and Liberation condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous repression that has been unleashed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey against the students and others protesting the appointment of an arch-reactionary rector in Boğaziçi University by President Tayyip Erdogan. In total violation of the democratic process in place which gives the university faculty and students the right to elect their own rector, Erdogan single-handedly appointed Melih Bulu on January 2. While Metin Bulu has no ties at all to Boğaziçi University, he has deep ties to the AKP. He was one of the AKP’s candidates in the parliamentary elections in 2015.
The initial protests that started in early January at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul have now spread to all major cities — including Ankara, İzmir and Bursa — with thousands on the streets and not only students. AKP has attempted to violently suppress these protests. Police have fired tear gas, plastic bullets at the people and hundreds have been detained in various cities and a number of them have been arrested. And yet people are not backing down as more and more students from other universities around Turkey are joining the protests in solidarity with Boğaziçi.
We stand in solidarity with all the students and working class of Turkey who are resisting the AKP’s attempt to infiltrate the universities and transform them into private, reactionary, anti-women and anti-LGBTQ institutes in the service of the capitalist class.
We stand in solidarity with our comrades in the Communist Youth of Turkey (TKG), the youth organization of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), who are out on the streets and in the frontlines of these protests.
We demand an immediate end to all police repression. We demand the immediate release of all the people who have been detained or arrested.
Despite all this repression at the hands of AKP and its police, we know that the youth of Turkey will resist and tear off the reactionary straitjacket AKP is trying to impose on them. We know that the universities will continue to be beacons of resistance by the youth of Turkey who, shoulder to shoulder with the workers, will eventually put an end to the rule of AKP and its capitalist bosses!
Long live the youth and workers of Turkey!