European-Turkish Solidarity with the people at Bogazici University

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Update: From a student petition to a declaration from the Council of Europe

Dear signatories,

From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank every single one of you who signed and shared our open letter to show solidarity with the peaceful protests of the students and the faculty of Bogaziciy University in the aftermath of the appointment of Melih Bulu as rector of this known academic institution by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself. Since going public with our petition many more students were detained – sometimes even arrested by the police in their own flat in the middle of the night. But not even police snipers on the roofs, overlooking the protests, could hold these young and brave Turkish students back from making their voices heard.

While we always wanted to help amplifying those voices throughout Europe, we also aimed at an admittedly very ambitious goal: To get the European institutions to condemn the brutal police action and to stand in solidarity with the demonstrators who are standing up for values that we consider to be the same as our European values, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of academic teaching. Unfortunately, the signatory turnover has not been as great as anticipated but we nevertheless achieved in many ways what we were aiming at. We caught the attention of many important politicians, especially in Germany, where many MPs of the German federal parliament (Bundestag) co-signed our open letter, but also throughout Europe and in the European parliament. We are further very thankful for the support of the many student organizations which co-signed our open letter as well. Moreover, we achieved to place a guest commentary in one of the bigger German national newspapers.

(see the article here: https://www.welt.de/debatte/kommentare/article225601847/Kampf-um-die-Universitaet-Die-mutigen-Studenten-von-Istanbul.html

We are happy and very proud that our engagement and persistent reaching-out to many different politicians throughout Europe further lead to an appeal of several European parliamentarians calling on Turkey to respect human rights guidelines. More precisely, it is a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which Turkey itself is also a member, which requests the Turkish government “to respect Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights enshrining the rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association”. This call for action can be traced back directly to us reaching out to Konstantin Kuhle (MP of the German parliament and member of the Council of Europe), who proved to be very taken with our solidarity campaign and furthermore worked to make Bogazici's voices ring even louder. We are very thankful for his engagement and hope it will help our friends at Bogazici university in their struggle. At the same time, it is the merit of each one of you, thank you very much for signing and sharing our petition.

(see the written declaration here: https://pace.coe.int/en/files/29037

The protests are continuing to this day in all kind of creative forms. You can show your solidarity by sharing this campaign and by following and spreading the protests on social media, e.g. under the following hashtags:

#Kayyumrektöristemiyoruz #KabulEtmiyoruzVazgeçmiyoruz #HerYerBogaziciHerYerDirenis #BogaziciDireniyor #Aşağıyabakmayacağız

Sincerely and with solidary greetings,

An International Solidarity Campaign for Bogazici University

An International Solidarity Campaign for the people at Bogazici University
2 months ago