Students, professors stop classes, condemn police

Students, professors stop classes, condemn police

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Students, professors stop classes, condemn police

A group of students in Eskişehir’s Anatolia University also condemned the police intervention in ODTÜ yesterday and held a protest in campus. DHA photo

Discussions about police violence at Middle East Technical University (ODTU) on Dec. 18 during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s visit continue as ODTU management condemned the police and opposition parties criticized Erdoğan.

“Our academic staff who were in the protest area, aiming to stop any clash from occurring, expressed that police forces used intense gas bombs before students resorted to force,” the ODTU Rector’s Office said in a written statement condemning the police violence on their campus.

A Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy paid a visit to injured student Barış Barışık in a hospital’s intensive care unit yesterday.

Deputy Lütfü Türkkan said even if his “ideology was very different from Barış’s” he was supportive of students reacting against what they think is wrong. “Barış could have been my son or the prime minister’s,” he added.

Law student Barışık has suffered brain hemorrhaging after a gas bomb hit him in the head during clashes between students and police at ODTU in Ankara on Dec. 18.

A group of ODTU students protested the visit of Erdoğan, who came to the university to attend the Göktürk-2 satellite launch ceremony Dec. 18.

Police used pepper gas and pressurized water against the protesting students, who were not allowed to approach the ceremony hall.

A total of 26 students were detained while five were injured due to the gas bombs.

Also a deputy of the Kurdish issue-focused Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) submitted an official inquiry to the prime minister on the incident.

Deputy Sebahat Tuncel asked Erdoğan about the police brutality on campus during his visit.

“As university campuses belong to their students and they have the democratic right to protest,” the statement read, “police brutality on [Dec. 18] was anti-democratic and unbalanced. It could almost cause deaths.”

Tuncel also asked the reason for attending a satellite launch ceremony with 105 guard cars, 20 armored cars, 1 intervention tank and 2,500 police officers.

ODTU students and academic staff staged a boycott yesterday by not attending classes.