Police crack down on Kobane protests at Ankara universities
A young woman was injured after the police intervention against protesters demonstrating in support of Kobane at Ankara University's Cebeci campus on Oct. 9. AA PhotoPolice have fired tear gas and water cannon against students protesting in support of Syrian Kurds in Kobane on the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) campus, while 25 people have been detained in a separate protest at Ankara University.
Dozens of students had gathered on the campus of Ankara University to protest the attack of Islamist militants on Kobane when around 100 police officers entered the precinct.
Around 20 students were detained in a heavy-handed manner, as well as five professors who were trying to prevent police from taking students into custody.
Police also dispatched a water cannon truck (TOMA) near to the campus. A woman who was hit by pressurized water in the face was injured, reports said.
The Rector’s Office of Ankara University has canceled all classes at the school’s main campus of Cebeci for Oct. 10.
Police forces also launched a crackdown on the ODTÜ campus after protesters tried to march to the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to denounce the government’s position regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Police resorted to rubber bullets, in addition to tear gas and water cannon, while some of the protesters responded by throwing stones, according to reports.
ODTÜ has been the center of many police crackdowns since last year’s anti-government Gezi Park demonstrations and the Ankara Municipality’s project to build a road that would have crossed through the famously leafy campus.
Earlier in the day, 28 people were detained following an altercation between suspected members of the Muslim Youth, a fundamentalist organization that has previously expressed support for jihadists in Syria, and students at the Istanbul University. Students at the university accused security guards of doing nothing to stop the assailants, who wore hats and masks to hide their identity.
On Sept. 26, members of the same group attacked Istanbul University students at the Beyazıt campus who had erected a stand to denounce atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as it closed in on Kobane in northern Syria.
Over 20 people have died in violent clashes during protests, triggered by anger against the perceived inaction of the Turkish government in the face of ISIL’s advance on Kobane. Tension has particularly risen in the southeastern provinces, where the authorities have taken extreme security measures.