Girls’ dorm residents in Turkey’s Zonguldak protest amid harrassment, kidnapping of students
ZONGULDAK – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoSome 250 residents of a public girls’ dormitory in the Kozlu district of the northern Turkish province of Zonguldak staged a protest in front of their building on the night of Oct. 10, saying the administration cannot provide their security as two student residents were kidnapped over the last four days.
In the four-hour long demonstration outside the Nesibe Hatun Student Dormitory, which hosts 1,600 students of the Bülent Ecevit University in Zonguldak, the group voiced concerns over security in the area around the dormitory.
In one of the recent kidnapping incidents, a resident of the dormitory was abducted by her boyfriend on Oct. 7. The suspect, who was detained a day after the incident, was later released on probation by a court.
Another subsequent alleged kidnapping incident prompted residents of the dorm to stage a protest, during which two students fainted and police took security measures.
Büşra Serçeoğlu, one of the protesters, said the authorities had done nothing to address their security concerns at the dorm.
“We don’t have security of life here. Our dorm president said ‘I wonder what she did to get kidnapped.’ Again, as always, women are the ones found guilty. Those responsible have not done what they are supposed to do,” Serçeoğlu said.
“Now the police say, ‘We’re here for you.’ But two girls were kidnapped in a week. This road [leading to the dormitory] is not safe at all. They [the dorm administration] said police vehicles would be stationed in front of the dorm every hour, but this never happened. We don’t have any security at this dorm,” she added.
Another resident of the dormitory, Sena Temizyürk, said construction workers at site around the dorm had harassed them. “They interrupted my path, two drunk men. But the dorm administration has no idea about these incidents,” she said.
The regional director of public dormitories, Hayri Bulazar, visited the dorm during the protests and was faced with the angry crowd, which vowed to continue demonstrating until their problems are resolved.
Bulazar claimed that the second kidnapping incident did not occur and said the police are investigating the case.
The protest ended after the Zonguldak provincial police head, Osman Ak, arrived at the scene. Ak spoke with some of the residents inside the building and assured students that a police vehicle and four police officers would be positioned in front of the building from now on.