Spring fest at Turkey's leading university canceled due to 'too much alcohol'
Gamze Kolcu – Ankara
HÜRRİYET PhotoThe annual spring festival at one of Turkey’s internationally acclaimed universities, which has been organized for the past 28 years, was canceled due to a dispute between the rectorship and the student committee organizing the festival.
The rectorship of Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara had asked for the duration of the spring festival to be decreased from four consecutive days to two days on grounds there was “excessive amounts of alcohol consumption, attendance from outside of METU, environment pollution and infrastructure problems.”
The rectorship’s demand was delivered to the METU’s International Youth Community (UGT), which organizes the spring festival every year, but the UGT did not accept the demand. The UGT collected 5,000 individual petitions while also petitions from 79 communities inside the university. Despite the petitions, the rectorship did not change its position on its demand.
UGT head Emre Kara claimed the METU rectorship was dragging the spring festival process to a deadlock.
“They did everything they could for the cancelation of the festival. The administration ignored thousands of signatures,” Kara said.
METU Rector Ahmet Acar, on the other hand, said the festival was exceeding its own purpose.
“This festival forms a serious burden on the university. Injuries and disablement are being experienced as a result of excessive use of alcohol. Security was not sufficient as there was attendance from outside [the university] too. The festival, in this form, has turned into a figure that the members of METU also do not want,” Acar said.