Mar 21 2018

Turkish ruling party protests at top university

The youth branch of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at Istanbul’s prestigious Boğaziçi University held a demonstration after a fight broke out over its stall celebrating the Turkish capture of the Syrian district of Afrin from Kurdish forces, state news agency Anadolu said.

The students held up a large Turkish flag alongside placards reading “We do not want terrorists at our university” and “Greetings to Afrin from Boğaziçi”.

“Our patriotic Boğaziçi brothers wanted to give out Turkish delight on campus to celebrate our army’s victory. But they were exposed to verbal and physical intervention by a group of terrorists,” AK Party Istanbul Deputy Youth Head Mehmet Akif Güdek said at the demonstration.

“Today we have gathered here to defend our patriotic brothers and to demonstrate our condemnation of the attack on them.”

Güdek said his party would become more active in universities until all of what he called terrorists were purged from them.

“Continue to protect the local and national stance at your own schools,” he urged the crowd.

Far-left newspaper Kızıl Bayrak gave a different reading of the incident.

“On Monday March 19, gangs that form the university extension of the religious-reactionary AKP government opened a stand at Boğaziçi University with the label ‘We are giving out Turkish delight for Afrin’,” it said.

“Boğaziçi University students, however, responded, saying ‘there can be no Turkish delight for an occupation and a massacre’. They threw the fascist gang out of the school, shouting the slogans ‘the palace wants war, the people want peace’, and ‘murderer AKP, collaborator FSA (Free Syrian Army)’. After the demonstration, three university students were arrested.”