Solidarity with Boğaziçi University Students

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As Turkish citizens who study in the Netherlands, we are deeply concerned regarding the illegitimate appointment of the new Boğaziçi University rector, Melih Bulu, that threatens the very foundations of democracy. The government’s decision violates the academic autonomy, scientific freedom and democratic values of one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in our country. Therefore, we stand with all the students who had to experience excessive police violence during peaceful protests and were arrested without a legal base. 

For scientific and social development, higher education institutions cannot be used as a political tool and their autonomy must be protected and respected by the government. Therefore, the decision-making mechanism for academic administrators such as the rector, dean, or head of department must be decided through democratic elections and as autonomous constitutional institutions, universities must be allowed to determine their academic programs and research policies. 

In democratic regimes, resignation is not defeat, but a virtue. We invite Melih Bulu who is also a graduate of the Boğaziçi University to resign in order to respect democratic process and autonomy of the university. We call for the government to stop violence on protestors who are simply claiming their constitutional rights. Finally, we would like to thank all the Boğaziçi students who showed reaction and solidarity to this authoritarian decision, which is extremely difficult in today’s political conjuncture in Turkey. Even though we cannot be physically there, we send all the courage and support to your cause, and urge all higher educational institutions who value academic autonomy and democracy to publicise their support and solidarity with the students of Boğaziçi University. 

Hepimiz Boğaziçiliyiz, Boğaziçi Hepimiz.

Turkish students in the Netherlands