The protests had been happening every day for more than a month when the police, this Monday, decided that it was over. At the gate of the Bosphorus University , the most prestigious in Istanbul and Turkey , several trucks with riot control agents had been deployed . Others, laden with rifles, waited on the roofs of the adjoining buildings.
But the students arrived and protested, as every day along with their professors: no one at the Bosphorus University accepts the new rector of the institution, Melih Bulu , who, contrary to what the university rules set, was not elected by the academics of the University of the Bosphorus but was appointed directly by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan . Against Bulu, in addition, there are many accusations of plagiarism .
The protest occurred in mid-afternoon on Monday and the police quickly dispersed it, forcing the youths to file out. ” You have no dignity,” a policeman shouted at the students, “you, walk and look at the ground.” And that’s where it all exploded: the young man who was forced to lower his eyes revealed himself. The policemen grabbed him. He, along with others, was instantly arrested.
After the event, the tension increased: the protest reached the university campus and lasted until night. At 9 p.m. – when the curfew begins in Turkey due to the coronavirus – several students continued to protest. ” We won’t look down! ” Had become a trending topic across the country.
In the evening, the police prepared a major intervention and a raid on the campus , and the authorities arrested 159 students , accused of participating in an illegal protest. After declaring at the police station, 108 have been released this Tuesday morning. The others remain in police custody.
When the new rector was announced and the demonstrations began at the end of December, the Turkish government made it clear that nothing was happening at the University of the Bosphorus, where, in fact, many of its cadres have come from, including the Turkish Foreign Minister .
Everything changed, however, last week: a group of students displayed in the protests a banner with the defense of LGBTI rights and Mecca and the most conservative sectors of Turkey exploded. Two young men were arrested for carrying the banner and “insulting religious sentiment . ” The Turkish Interior Minister called homosexuals “degenerates . “