Student protests are back in Turkey but for another reason

Student protests are back in force again in Turkey and were similar to the demonstrations the country witnessed months ago to protest the appointment of Melih Bulu, a close collaborator of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as rector of the Bosphorus University, but this time the students are demonstrating for a other reason.

Thousands of students have been demonstrating every day for days in several universities in the country, including Istanbul and Izmir, to protest against the increase in house rents in the cities in they moved to study.

The increase in rents in some areas was around 60% with students returning to the same at the beginning of the academic year.

From the student protest in garden

From the student protest in garden

Some students participating in those protests told Al “We have colleagues who sleep in the gardens because they are not in able to rent apartments, so we started demonstrating and will continue to do so until our demands are met, “although the Turkish president criticized these demonstrations earlier this week and put in doubt the presence of students among the demonstrators.

Other students also stated that “the rise in house rents is linked to the deterioration of the exchange rate of the Turkish lira”, which reached its lowest level against the US dollar a few days ago.

From the student protest in garden

From the student protest in garden

Thousands of students have suspended their studies after failing to obtain affordable housing, according to some of them, who in their statements stressed that “among the participants there are students literally without accommodation”.

In parallel, some students have set up tents in some of the gardens and parks of the largest cities in the country, against the backdrop of what they called “exceptional increases” in rents in the places near the universities where they study, calling on the government to create more university housing and work to reduce the rent of houses in neighborhoods located near their universities.

And security authorities took measures against dozens of students yesterday, Tuesday, in the wake of a series of protests that continue so far, and as a result, 80 students have been detained in the cities of Istanbul and Izmir.

Yesterday the state of Istanbul announced that police arrested 28 students for their unauthorized demonstrations, but released them.

A Turkish opposition source revealed to Al that “the police continue to detain dozens of students, while our lawyers try to release them”.

The country’s two largest opposition parties, the “Republican People” and the “Democratic Peoples,” support the student protests, according to the previous source. Both sides had previously supported similar demonstrations months ago.

Mayors and local residents offered to help secure housing for some students, while members of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party described the protests as “provocative” for the government.

After the failed coup attempt against President Erdogan’s government in mid-July 2016, university students and academics repeatedly demonstrated against the backdrop of the Turkish president’s appointment of university rectors. in based on decrees issued by him personally. He frequently appointed people close to him to these positions, as he did when he appointed 11 new presidents for a number of universities in the country in early February.

Turkish universities elected their rectors, but this no longer happens, as Erdogan took on the task of appointing the rectors of the universities according to the decrees he issued, after the failed coup attempt more than 5 years ago.

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