Police Violence against Students before President’s Visit

Students of the Mersin University were exposed to police violence even before they started a protest action they had planned prior to the campus visit of President Gül. 42 students were taken into police custody.

The students of the University of Mersin (eastern Mediterranean coast) were planning a protest action prior to the campus visit of President Abdullah Gül. The students were still busy with the preparation of the demonstration when they were exposed to police violence.

President Gül was expected to visit the campus in the early evening of 22 February. A few hours earlier, students started to gather on campus. The riot police forces intervened against them even before they had started their protest action.

The police used truncheons and tear gas. Some students were dragged to the ground and kicked.

42 of a total of about 50 students were taken into police custody. They had prepared a banner reading, “We will not hand our universities over to the hands of YÖK [Higher Education Council], the Capital and the AKP [Justice and Development Party], Promise – Authority – Decision, to the ones who merge universities”.

It was announced that Gül’s visit to the university was postponed because of the incident. The students in custody underwent a medical check and were brought to the police directorate to take their statements. The students were released the same night upon the directive of the prosecution without having been taken to court.

Police violence and torture against students

Last week, students of the Black Sea Technical University encountered severe police violence when they wanted to protest Environment Minister Veysel Eroğlu. Several students were taken into police custody and later claimed that they were exposed to severe torture in the police vans.

The students announced that they had been told that they did not need a medical report because they “would recover within two days”.

Students in cities like Ankara, Erzurum or Istanbul encountered massive police interventions when they made use of their right to demonstrate. Police violence in the course of a students’ demonstration in Istanbul against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lead to the miscarriage of a female student. (EÇ/EÖ/VK)

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