Students suspended for joining protests

Students suspended for joining protests

ISTANBUL - Radikal
Students suspended for joining protests

Several students from around Turkey are suspended from schools for joining protests.

Higher education authorities have issued penalties against a number of students for penning critical statements and allegedly partaking in peaceful demonstrations, leading to some legal proceedings and prison sentences.

Temporary suspension from school, official reprimands and appeals to the prosecutor’s office are among some of the penalties meted out to students who express dissident views, according to reports.

A group of students from Pamukkale University in the southwestern province of Denizli who staged a mock play lambasting the Higher Education Board (YÖK) and held a protest march on Nov. 1, 2011, were subjected to 20 investigations by the university administration on the grounds that they were “staging a specially devised demonstration for the purposes of protesting our university, the police and the security organization.”

Five of those students were consequently suspended from school for an entire month, while two others also received official reprimands.

Authorities also filed another investigation against Ahmet Açıkça, a student at Istanbul University, for “posting a banner without permission” after he hung the poster of a film festival organized by the Yılmaz Güney Culture and Art Foundation over a college building wall on Nov. 28, 2011.

Açıkça was subsequently suspended from school for a whole week, according to reports.

Another communications student at Istanbul’s Marmara University, Mikail Boz, was also suspended for an entire semester due to an entry he wrote for the popular, user-generated dictionary and forum Ekşisözlük (Sour Dictionary).

Meanwhile, YÖK President Gökhan Çetinsaya has also castigated the institution’s regulations which came into effect in 1985 and has never been altered.

A new set of regulations are eventually going to be introduced for YÖK, said Çetinsaya.

Leader of main opposition party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğşu also condemned the Higher Education Board and the ruling AKP for suspending students from school, in a twitter message on Feb 3rd.