Erdogan Calls University Students Terrorists

Erdogan Calls University Students Terrorists

Erdogan Calls University Students Terrorists

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a group of anti-war students “terrorists” Saturday in response to demonstrations at one of the country’s top universities.

Erdogan also announced an investigation into protests that happened at the public Bogazici University while speaking in Samsun province.

“We won’t give these terrorist youth the right to study at these universities,” said Erdogan, according to the Associated Press.
A local television channel reported that three students were taken into custody Sunday morning after their dorms and homes were raided by police. Turkey has cracked down on all kinds of dissent and has even arrested people who have protested the war in Syria on social media, according to the Associated Press. Read more


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 24 criticized anti-war students at Turkey’s top university, calling them terrorists following a fight that erupted on campus over Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” in Afrin.
On March 19, a group of students opened a stand distributing sweets dubbed “Afrin delight” to commemorate fallen soldiers in Turkey’s cross-border operation in Syria. Another group protested against them, holding anti-war banners.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said a fight broke out and 12 people were later detained.
Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Four Turkish soldiers were killed on March 22 in eastern Turkey and Afrin in two separate instances involving the YPG and the PKK, officials have said. Read more


University Students Terrorists?

On March 19, a student club at Turkey’s prestigious Bogazici University distributed Turkish delight to celebrate the Turkish military’s victory against Syrian Kurdish (YPG) forces in Afrin. Students opposed to the campaign protested, holding up a sign declaring “No delight in occupation and massacre.” A brief struggle between the groups not only upset boxes of the sweets but would escalate into a political crisis provoking an international outcry.
Erdogan’s use of the term “terrorist” has served as the impetus for the jailing of thousands of his opponents, particularly since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt and the state of emergency that has remained in place since.

Erdogan’s strategy of rhetorical vilification works to delegitimize any type of opposition through naming, blaming and framing. During the Gezi Park demonstrations of 2013, Erdogan named all protesters “hooligans,” falsely blaming participants of using violence and desecrating a mosque, and framing them as part of nebulous, nefarious international lobbies seeking to undermine the Turkish state.
The arrests of Bogazici students might seem small in comparison, but they are indicative of a much larger strategy of intimidation and neutralization of dissenters. Erdogan referred to the coup attempt as a “gift from God,” using it not only to rout out suspected putschists who posed a genuine threat but also as a pretext for purging and arresting over 150,000 individuals from the military, education system, media and other institutions. Read more


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