Bilkent’s academics stand by Gezi protestors in Turkey
ANKARAMore than 100 academics from the Ankara-based Bilkent University have voiced their support for the Gezi Park protests, urging the government to take the demands of the protesters seriously.
“We, the undersigned faculty members of Bilkent University, denounce state violence against peaceful demonstrators - among whose ranks are our students and colleagues - believe that the government should take nonviolent protesters’ demands seriously and express our desire to live in a country where the state shows the same high respect to every individual,” said a written declaration signed by 125 academics and released on June 5.
Gezi Park protests have been ongoing since last week, having started in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul before spreading across the country and growing every day. Ankara and İzmir are the other two metropolitan cities in which protests were mainly held, in addition to provinces such as Bursa, Elazığ, Erzincan, Hatay, Malatya, Sivas, Tunceli and Uşak. The initial demonstrations were staged against the government’s decision to tear down the central park for a shopping mall project.