Universities postpone finals amid Taksim protests
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Several prominent Turkish universities have announced the postponement of university finals amid the ongoing Taksim protests across the country. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel
Several prominent Turkish universities have announced the postponement of university finals amid the ongoing Taksim protests across the country, in a move that was interpreted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as encouraging students to join in the protests.
During a June 2 televised interview, the prime minister picked up on the statement sent by Koç Unviersity rector Umran İnan, which announced that “students who cannot participate in the upcoming finals due to the extraordinary circumstances in the city will be able to take their finals at a future date,” as well as targetting several other Turkish universities that have postponed their finals, including Hacettepe and ODTÜ.
Erdoğan even accused Koç University of conducting its own natural destruction ten years back when the campus was first founded in Istanbul, causing the demolition of a vast amount of forestry.
Universities such as Özyeğin University, Boğazici, Istanbul Technical University, Mimar Sinan University and many others had all previously released statements condemning police violence in Taksim, but cancellations and postponements came soon after.
Istanbul’s Bahçeşehir University was among the first institutions to postpone finals, announcing the decision online, as well as Yeditepe University, which cancelled all finals, thesis presentations, project final dates from as early as June 1, allowing students make-up final opportunities in the future. Yeditepe Unviersity also cancelled its graduation ball, set to take place on June 3.
ODTÜ also allowed students to retake exams during a second examination period in the summer and Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University told its students that finals could be taken on future dates if proper petitions were submitted beforehand, citing the excuse of missing the final, which also included “direct or indirect impacts of the ongoing events in Istanbul.”
Galatasaray University too postponed the year-end finals to future dates.
Erdoğan, however, heavily condemned such announcements, naming Koç, Hacettepe and ODTÜ universities in a rant that accused administrations of allowing their students to participate in the protests.
Universities nationwide responded to the ongoing events, with hundreds of protesters staging demonstrations in cities like Erzurum, Eskişehir, Kırıkkale, Aydın and Gaziantep.