For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser or Download our App.

Staff from Turkey's Bogazici University Condemn Handling of Pro-Palestine Protests in US Colleges

The 103 faculty, both working and retired, said they were all too familiar with the presence of armed personnel and the repression of protests on the Bogazici University campus, which they said was a consequence of resistance to the Turkish government's takeover of the institute.
Bogazici University. Photo: Bertilvidet~commonswiki/Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

New Delhi: Dozens of working and retired professors from Turkey’s Bogazici University issued a statement condemning the way US university administrations have handled pro-Palestinian protests on campus and said this was familiar to them in Turkey’s current political landscape.

More than 2,500 people have been arrested in the US in connection with pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses. Protestors have demanded their administrations financially divest from Israel as well as severing ties with Israeli institutions.

The 103 Bogazici academics said they were concerned that US universities were responding to protestors’ demands with “brutal force” and had made the “appalling decision” to let armed police personnel enter campuses to deal with the protests.

The faculty added that they were “too familiar with the presence of armed forces on our campuses and the brutal suppression of non-violent protests”.

“For over three years, Bogazici students and faculty have been resisting the take-over of the university by the government through the agency of imposed trustees and administrators,” they wrote, saying this had resulted in a deterioration in academic freedom, including by the forceful repression of protests and the imprisonment or banishment of students and faculty.

They added: “We consider what we have been experiencing at Bogazici as part and parcel of a far-reaching ‘politics’ of violence, targeting academic freedom across the world.”

Experts say democracy has declined in Turkey during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule and that university students are often detained for protesting government policies and academics are prevented from researching sensitive topics.

In their statement, the faculty also mentioned cancelled seminars in the context of declining academic freedom, among them the termination of a pro-Palestine conference in Germany in April.

They condemned the Israeli army’s “crimes against humanity” in Gaza, expressed solidarity with non-violent student protestors and urged university administrators to retract police from and protect freedom of speech on their campuses.

Israel began a ground offensive into Gaza after Hamas, a militant group based in the coastal strip, carried out deadly attacks into Israel. According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, close to 35,000 people have been killed by the Israeli offensive.

Their letter is reproduced in full below.

Also read | ‘Azadi For Palestine’: University Campuses Across the West Erupt in Protests Not Seen Since 1968


Statement from Concerned Boğaziçi University Faculty

We, the faculty at Boğaziçi University, condemn the oppressive measures adopted by university administrations across the US against peaceful pro-Palestinian and anti-war protests held by students and faculty members on campuses. We observe, with regret and concern, that in many universities the protestors’ demands for a ceasefire in Gaza and divestment of their institutions from companies with ties to Israel are met with brutal force. Many administrators took the appalling decision to let police forces armed with guns, batons, and teargas on university grounds, resulting with the arrest of hundreds of students, and the manhandling and detainment of many others and faculty members.

At Boğaziçi University, we are too familiar with the presence of armed forces on our campuses and the brutal suppression of non-violent protests. For over three years, Boğaziçi students and faculty have been resisting the take-over of the university by the government through the agency of imposed trustees and administrators, which has resulted in the undermining of academic freedom, leading to the repression of many protests by force, the imprisonment, ill-treatment, and disciplinary punishment of many students, as well as the dismissal, prosecution, or banishment of faculty members and administrative staff. We consider what we have been experiencing at Boğaziçi as part and parcel of a far-reaching ‘politics’ of violence, targeting academic freedom across the world. We are deeply concerned to see that the bans on freedom of expression imposed by political powers regarding the justified reactions of the international public against war crimes committed in Gaza have also expanded to threaten academic freedom. A significant number of cancelled scholarly seminars, the cases of silenced faculty and students, and lastly, the forced termination of an international conference on Palestine solidarity to be held in Germany two weeks ago, with speakers from abroad not even allowed to enter the country, all confirm the international dimension of this threat.

We condemn the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Israeli army in Gaza, with its use of Hamas’ October 7 massacre as pretext, as well as the Israeli state’s practices of occupation and apartheid in the rest of Palestine, and stand in solidarity with the students and faculty who are, in all forms of non-violent action, expressing their democratic will and standing against university administrations which threaten to suppress the right to academic freedom.

With these concerns, we urge university administrators around the world, first and foremost in Turkey, the US, and Germany, to retract police forces from campuses, and respect principles of institutional autonomy, shared governance and transparency in academic decision-making processes. We therefore call on university administrators to assume their fundamental responsibility of protecting freedom of expression on their campuses.

  1. A. Sumru Özsoy (Professor, Emeritus, Linguistics)
  2. Ahmet Ersoy (Assoc. Professor, History)
  3. Ahu Ersözlü (Instructor, Retired, School of Foreign Languages)
  4. Ali Kerem Saysel (Professor, Retired, Environmental Sciences)
  5. Ali Rıza Kaylan (Professor, Emeritus, Industrial Engineering)
  6. Alp Eden (Professor, Retired, Mathematics)
  7. Alpar Sevgen (Professor, Retired, Physics)
  8. Arzu Çelik (Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  9. Aybek Korugan (Assoc. Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  10. Ayfer Bartu Candan (Assoc. Professor, Retired, Sociology)
  11. Ayşe Caner (Assoc. Professor, Educational Sciences)
  12. Ayşe Mumcu (Professor, Economics)
  13. Ayşın Baytan Ertüzün (Professor, Electrical-Electronic Engineering)
  14. Begüm Özkaynak (Professor, Economics)
  15. Belgin Tekçe (Professor, Retired, Sociology)
  16. Berna Kılınç (Professor, Philosophy) 
  17. Betül Kırdar (Professor, Retired, Chemical Engineering)
  18. Betül Tanbay (Professor, Mathematics)
  19. Biray Kolluoğlu (Professor, Sociology)
  20. Burak Gürel (Professor, Mathematics)
  21. Burçay Erus (Assoc. Professor, Economics)
  22. Can Candan (Instructor, Western Languages and Literature)
  23. Cem Ersoy (Professor, Computer Engineering)
  24. Ceren Özselçuk (Assoc. Professor, Sociology)
  25. Cevza Sevgen (Professor, Retired, Western Languages and Literature)
  26. Cüneyt Argun Genç (Instructor, Tourism Management)
  27. Çiğdem Kafesçioğlu (Professor, History)
  28. Deniz Tahiroğlu (Assoc. Professor, Psychology)
  29. Derin Terzioğlu (Assoc. Professor, History)
  30. Dilek Çınar (Assoc. Professor, Retired, Political Science & International Relations)
  31. Dilek Doltaş (Professor, Retired, Western Languages and Literature)
  32. Emine Erktin (Professor, Mathematics and Natural Science Education)
  33. Emre Uğur (Assoc. Professor, Computer Engineering)
  34. Engin Ader (Assoc. Professor, Mathematics and Natural Science Education)
  35. Erhan Altunel (Instructor, Retired, Management)
  36. Erol Köroğlu (Assoc. Professor, Turkish Language and Literature)
  37. Ersan Demiralp (Professor, Physics)
  38. Esra Mungan (Assoc. Professor, Psychology)
  39. Eşref Eşkinat (Professor, Retired, Mechanical Engineering)
  40. Fatma Gök (Professor, Retired, Educational Sciences)
  41. Fikret Adaman (Professor, Economics)
  42. Gönenç Yücel (Assoc. Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  43. Gülcan Erçetin (Professor, Foreign Language Education)
  44. Güler Fişek (Professor, Emeritus, Psychology)
  45. Güzver Yıldıran (Professor, Retired, former Dean of the Faculty of Education)
  46. H. Birkan Yılmaz (Asst. Professor, Computer Engineering)
  47. H. Işıl Bozma (Professor, Electrical-Electronic Engineering)
  48. İbrahim Yaman (Assoc. Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  49. İlhan Or (Professor, Retired, Industrial Engineering)
  50. Irmak Ertör (Asst. Professor, Atatürk Institute)
  51. Kıvanç İnelmen (Professor, Retired, Tourism Management)
  52. Kıvanç Karaman (Assoc. Professor, Economics)
  53. Kuban Altınel (Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  54. Kutluğhan Soyubol (Asst. Professor, Sociology)
  55. Lale Akarun (Professor, Computer Engineering)
  56. Levent Yıldıran (Assoc. Professor, Economics)
  57. Mahmut Ekşioğlu (Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  58. Mert Arslanalp (Asst. Professor, Political Science & International Relations)
  59. Mine Eder (Professor, Political Science & International Relations)
  60. Mine Göl-Güven (Assoc. Professor, Preschool Education)
  61. Mine Nakipoğlu (Assoc. Professor, Linguistics)
  62. Murat Gülsoy (Professor, Retired, Biyomedikal Enstitüsü)
  63. Murat Koyuncu (Assoc. Professor, Economics)
  64. Nazım Çapkın (Instructor, School of Foreign Languages)
  65. Nazlı Somel (Asst. Professor, Educational Sciences)
  66. Neş’e Bilgin (Professor, Retired, Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  67. Nesrin Özören (Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  68. Nilüfer Zihnioğlu (Professor, Civil Engineering)
  69. Nüket Esen (Professor, Retired, Turkish Language and Literature)
  70. Nuri Ersoy (Professor, Mechanical Engineering)
  71. Olcay Akyıldız (Asst. Professor, Turkish Language and Literature)
  72. Orhan Yenigün (Professor, Retired, Environmental Sciences Institute)
  73. Özgün Konca (Assoc. Professor, Geophysics)
  74. Özlem Beyarslan (Assoc. Professor, Mathematics)
  75. Pınar Pektaş (Instructor, School of Foreign Languages)
  76. Reşit Canbeyli (Professor, Emeritus, Psychology)
  77. Rıfat Okçabol (Professor, Retired, Educational Sciences)
  78. Saygun Gökarıksel (Asst. Professor, Sociology)
  79. Seda Altuğ (Asst. Professor, Atatürk Institute)
  80. Seda Binbaşgil (Western Languages and Literature)
  81. Selim Deringil (Professor, Retired, History)
  82. Sema Sakarya (Professor, International Trade)
  83. Senem Yıldız (Assoc. Professor, Foreign Language Education)
  84. Serra Müderrisoğlu (Professor, Retired, Psychology)
  85. Sibel Tatar (Assoc. Professor, Foreign Language Education)
  86. Taner Bilgiç (Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  87. Tınaz Ekim (Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  88. Tolga Emre (Assoc. Professor, Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  89. Tolga Sütlü (Asst. Professor, former member of Molecular Biology & Genetics)
  90. Tuna Kuyucu (Assoc. Professor, Sociology)
  91. Tuna Tuğcu (Professor, Computer Engineering) 
  92. Ümit Bilge (Professor, Industrial Engineering)
  93. Ünal Zenginobuz (Professor, Economics)
  94. Volkan Çidam (Asst. Professor, Political Science & International Relations)
  95. Yağmur Denizhan (Professor, Electrical-Electronic Engineering)
  96. Yaman Barlas (Professor, Retired, Industrial Engineering)
  97. Yasemin Sohtorik ilkmen (Asst. Professor, Psychology)
  98. Yavuz Akpınar (Professor, Computer and Educational Technology)
  99. Z. Hande Sart (Assoc. Professor, Educational Sciences) 
  100. Zeynep Gambetti (Assoc. Professor, Retired, Political Science & International Relations)
  101. Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu (Assoc. Professor, Retired, Political Science & International Relations)
  102. Zeynep Sabuncu (Assoc. Professor, Retired, Turkish Language and Literature)
  103. Zeynep Uysal (Assoc. Professor, Turkish Language and Literature)
Make a contribution to Independent Journalism
facebook twitter