Erdoğan calls Boğaziçi University students involved in Afrin protests ‘terrorists’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 24 criticized anti-war students at Turkey’s top university, calling them terrorists following a fight that erupted on campus over Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin.
Speaking in the northern Black Sea province of Samsun, Erdoğan said “communist, traitor youth” tried to mess up a student stand opened by “religious, nationalist, local youth” at the public Boğaziçi University.
Erdoğan announced an investigation was launched into them and said “we won’t give these terrorist youth the right to study at these universities,” the Associated Press reported.
On March 19, a group of students opened a stand distributing sweets dubbed “Afrin delight” to commemorate fallen soldiers in Turkey’s cross-border operation in Syria. Another group protested against them, holding anti-war banners.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said a fight broke out and 12 people were later detained.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to clear People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin. On March 18, the Turkish armed forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared full control over the city.
Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Four Turkish soldiers were killed on March 22 in eastern Turkey and Afrin in two separate instances involving the YPG and the PKK, officials have said.