Banners in support of the Gezi protests were opened during this year's graduation ceremony at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus in Ankara.
No education loans will be granted to students who engage in resistance, stage boycotts, chant slogans or become involved in similar activities, according to newly announced conditions by the Higher Education Loans and Dormitories Institution (KYK), Turkey’s official student loan institution.
The precondition states that those who engage in “resistance, boycotts, occupations, writing, painting [in public spaces], chanting slogans and the like,” will not be eligible for student loans, as such activity constitutes a “violation of the right to an education,” according to the KYK.
“In the education institutions he/she attends, in its extensions in the dormitory he/she resides, outside of the education institution or the dormitory, either solely or collectively, in whichever form, those who are concerned with events of anarchy and terrorism, engaging in behaviors violating the right to education (resistance, boycott, occupation, writing, painting, slogan-chanting, et cetera), whether attempted partially or fully,” are classified as ineligible alongside those who carry any sort of firearm or sharp device.
Questions were raised when the details of preconditions to receive loans were enumerated and published on July 29, with many speculating that an article banning such student behavior had been inserted as a result of the Gezi Park protests.
But while the conditions had already been on the books since the first half of 2000s, it appears that the KYK has chosen to highlight actions such as engaging in resistance, staging boycotts and chanting slogans in its announcement for the upcoming academic year for the first time.
The condition in question is absent from the KYK’s official website, where information on general eligibility criteria from previous years is available.