Erdoğan says Boğaziçi protests stem from opposition parties, not students
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 5 said that the recent protests at Turkey’s Boğaziçi University, over the appointment of Rector Melih Bulu, are not about the students, but stem from the country’s opposition parties.
Speaking to reporters after Friday prayers, Erdoğan said it is not possible to “describe and accept” the protests as incidents about the university students. He said Turkey’s opposition parties, including main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
“A segment of politics is leading the way for this. The calls made in [Istanbul’s district] Kadıköy from those who feed of the mountains, meaning the HDP, is a crystal clear expression of this,” Erdoğan said.
The president also said that the main opposition CHP’s part during the events is “obvious.”
“Along with this, the academics they act with are also involved in this,” he said.
Erdoğan also pointed out that in line with his presidential duties, he has the authority to appoint rectors to universities.
“Before, I appointed two more rectors. The YÖK [Higher Education Board] had made its offer, and I approved this. I did these,” he said.
“About Mr. Melih: I was offered nine candidates. And within these nine candidates, I appointed Mr. Melih,” he underlined.
Erdoğan also said that Bulu was rector to two universities prior to this, and is succesful in his field.
“If you attempt to invade the rector’s office, they will not tell you ‘Welcome’,” he said.
Erdoğan slams US, France
The president also lashed out against U.S. and France over their reaction to Boğaziçi protests, saying they should be ashamed of the way they are handling protests in their own countries.
“Do you not feel any shame in the name of democracy, about the events in U.S. that took place before the elections. You hit record high in racism. How are you going to explain this?” he asked
Erdoğan also slammed French President Emmanuel Macron, suggesting him to “firstly take care of the Yellow Vests.”
Underlining that the Boğaziçi protests will not be a repetition of Gezi protests, Erdoğan said that the “security forces are taking all decisions with decisiveness.”