Police to replace private security in public universities: Turkish PM
Turkish PM Erdoğan speaks after a fast-breaking dinner at Bingöl University. DHA photoPolice will replace private security firms in universities, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced as a response to the Gezi Park protests, which have particularly been led by young university students.
“We will place in state universities the state-owned security forces instead of private security. Seeing that there were very different things has pushed us to further responsibility,” Erdoğan said after a fast-breaking dinner at Bingöl University in the eastern province of the same name on July 12.
“We don’t want to see young people walking around with Molotov cocktails, machetes or this and that,” he said, in an apparent reference to a shop owner who brandished a machete at Gezi protesters and bystanders during last weekend’s protests in Istanbul, although without clearly distinguishing him from the demonstrators.
The government had expressed its intention to replace private security in universities and at stadiums a few days before the beginning of the protests. Erdoğan had already revealed to reporters on May 19 during the last day of his visit to the United States that campuses and student residence would be guarded by police.
Erdoğan also accused once again the protesters of being those responsible for the violence, emphasizing that the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) government had improved the condition of students. “If you use violence, you will face violence.”
Erdoğan, who came to Bingöl to participate in the opening ceremony of the town’s brand-new airport, also expressed optimism regarding the ongoing Kurdish peace process.
“Even if it is not at the pace that we want, even if sabotage and provocations occur, we are carrying out the responsibility that lies upon us,” he said.
Erdoğan has also announced that a new airport in the southeastern province of Şırnak would be called Şerafettin Elçi, in tribute to the iconic Kurdish politician who died last December.