Police units in southeastern city perform ‘moral profiling’ of students’ private lives
Students chat on campus at Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara. Gaziantep University students have been profiled for at least three years, a report showed on Jan 6. DAILY NEWS photoSecurity officials in the southeastern province of Gaziantep have carried out a thorough “moral profiling” of their students’ private lives, including their political, social activities and their relationships, daily Milliyet reported Jan. 6.
The profiling targeted students studying at faculties and schools of higher education affiliated to Gaziantep University and located in the Islahiye district, which lies 80 kilometers west of Gaziantep’s urban center.
The profile details on students provided even the most intimate and trivial information about their private lives, some of the files obtained by daily Milliyet showed.
“[A male student] has a sentimental friendship with A. who lives in the same school. They allegedly separated because A. was a Kurd, but the brother of the girl came and currently there is no unfavorable situation,” said one of the profiles.
“[A female student] was embroiled into a fight inside the school. The fight broke out due to a sentimental relationship. Close with second year student K. It has been determined that their friendship continues,” said another.
Among the examples given by the report, one of the students was profiled for his involvement with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) while another was followed for being close to a group of people engaged with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).
Male and female students are even profiled for “going out,” “hanging out together arm in arm” and “living in the same house.”
University administrators deny knowledge
Administrators at Gaziantep University’s campuses in Islahiye denied having any knowledge about the profiling, adding that it was solely carried out by the police and gendarmerie, according to Milliyet.
However, students maintained that the administrators knew about the activities of the security officials. Sources told the daily that the profiling files were found in the computers of the university.
They also added that security officials regularly shared their information about the students with the administrators.
Although the files date back to 2010 and 2011, sources also say that profiling activities still continue.
Profiling in Turkey is a method long-used by the security forces and decried by human rights observers. Scholars, journalists and civil servants are regularly profiled, according to recent reports.