Dozens detained around Turkey in school boycott

Dozens detained around Turkey in school boycott

Dozens detained around Turkey in school boycott

Police fired water cannons on protesters in İzmir. DHA Photo

Dozens were detained around Turkey on Feb 13 in a boycott of school, while police used anti-riot vehicles and water cannons to disperse the protesters consisting of union members, teachers, parents and students.

Police intervene to a group of people gathered under the United June Movement’s (BHH) call to protest the government’s educational policies in İzmir on Feb 13. Dozens of protesters, mainly in İzmir, were detained during the protests aroung the country, while police resorted to using anti-riot vehicles.

While dozens of people, mainly in the Aegean province of İzmir, were detained in a boycott of schools that was launched on Feb. 13 in various Turkish cities upon a call from the Eğitim-Sen teachers’ union, a number of Alevi associations and the United June Movement (BHH) to protest the government’s educational policies, including regarding compulsory religion classes, police attacked protesters.

Protesters, consisting  of union and association members, teachers, parents and students, gathered in front of schools and marched in several cities across Turkey, including Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir Eskişehir, Edirne, Artvin, Denizli and Antalya.

Police forces have been dispatched to the schools where people gathered for the boycott, while some of the school administrations locked the doors to prevent teachers and students from leaving the buildings.

Eğitim-Sen official Turgut Yokuş said they would never allow the education system to go under the complete control of the government, calling on the authorities to end policies that polarize society and halt practices that are “against scientific and secular education.”

Police also intervened against a crowd in front of a school in the Çankaya district of capital Ankara and detained some people, according to reports.

Police intervention in İzmir

Police fired water cannons on protesters who gathered on a simultaneous call for a boycott of schools by the Joint June Movement (BHH) in İzmir.

The İzmir Governor’s Office notified the provincial education directorate to warn that the personnel and students who attended the “Boycott for Secular and Scientific Education” organized by the BHH would face disciplinary proceedings.

İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak released a statement saying the office had moved to take measures “to protect students from negative thoughts and environments.”

Meanwhile, Onur Kılıç, a member of the BHH and the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), who was detained by police on Feb. 12 on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was arrested by a court on Feb. 13.

A prosecutor sent Kılıç to the courthouse on Feb. 13, demanding his arrest despite his refusal to give a testimony.

In his testimony to the İzmir 5th Court of Peace, Kılıç denied that he shouted a slogan which can be considered a crime, saying he only attended a march to protest against compulsory religion classes and the transformation of some high schools into religious vocational imam hatip schools.