Police detained four Bogaziçi University (BOUN) students in Turkey as protests continued over the appointment of Melih Bulu as rector of the university. The students were detained under the scope of an investigation relating to the claim that the religious image of Kaaba (Kabe) was placed on the ground.
Police detained the four BOUN students – Senanur Baş, Hazal Kolancalı, Doğu Demirtaş and one another student – when they were returning home on 29 January.
According to information shared by students on social media, a student who tried to assist the detained students was also assaulted.
It was reportedly stated that the reason for the detentions were related to the investigation launched by Istanbul’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
The new rector, Melih Bulu, was appointed on 1 January. He is a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and was also a candidate in the parliamentary elections for the AKP in 2015. Students have stated that the political appointment is a direct infringement on academic freedom and they have been protesting over it for days on the university campus.
They have been also campaigning on social media with the hashtag #kayyımrektöristemiyoruz (‘We don’t want a trustee university president’). Since the protests were organised, several students had been detained and released.