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Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) students are being taken into custody in increasing numbers following clashes that occurred during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent visit to the school, daily Hürriyet has reported.
 
Twelve students have been detained so far, but the number will reportedly increase in the coming hours.
 
Police forces launched raids at students' housing units early in the morning, terming the action “DHKP/C operation" in reference to the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C).
 
A group of ODTÜ students had protested the Dec. 18 visit of Erdoğan, who came to the university to attend a ceremony for the launch of Turkey’s Göktürk-2 satellite.
 
Police used pepper gas and water cannon against the protesting students, who were not allowed to approach the ceremony hall.
 
A total of 26 students were detained while five were injured due to police’s use of tear gas.
 
Erdoğan reportedly attended the ceremony with 105 guard cars, 20 armored cars, one intervention tank and 2,500 police officers.

The Dec. 18 action against the students has drawn widespread condemnation, including reaction from ODTÜ’s rector. One student, Barış Barışık, remains in serious condition in hospital after being struck at close range by a police gas canister.

December/21/2012

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