Further resignations as students condemn arrests on day four of Boğaziçi protests - live blog

Boğaziçi University students have gathered outside a courthouse in Istanbul’s Çağlayan district, where those detained following recent protests are being brought to testify before prosecutors. 

More than 30 students are being held for their alleged role in mass demonstrations against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to appoint Melih Bulu, a government-linked academic, to head the prestigious university.

The protests began at the Boğaziçi University campus on Monday, before relocating to Kadıköy Pier Square on Wednesday, after the government banned protests in the area citing the COVID-19 pandemic. Police have since blocked the streets near the campus and university entrances.

(All times local, GMT+3)


19:30 - Head of Boğaziçi University's prestigious publishing house resigns

Murat Gülsoy, head of the editorial board of Boğaziçi University Publishing House (BUPRESS), has resigned from his post.

In a statement, Gülsoy, a biomedical engineer as well as a respected writer, said:

"I resigned from my position as the chairman of the editorial board of Boğaziçi University Publishing House, which I have held since 2004. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed during these years."

BUPRESS is one of Turkey’s largest and most prestigious publishing houses.

Gülsoy’s resignation follows that of fellow academic Zafer Yenal, who stood down from his position as an advisor to the rector’s office on Wednesday following the appointment of Melih Bulu.


18:45 - Oxford University staff issue statement of support for Boğaziçi colleagues and students

Academics at Oxford University have expressed their support for their colleagues at Boğaziçi “struggling to uphold academic freedom and democracy in the university”.

A statement posted by the Oxford University branch of the University and College Union (UCU) said:

“We condemn the police violence and arrests towards students and call Turkish authorities to respect the institutions academic freedom and autonomy.” 

The UCU is Britain’s largest trade union in further and higher education, representing over 120,000 academics and support staff.


Wednesday, Jan. 7

22:30 - Boğaziçi rector meets with students, dismisses question on resignation

The new rector of Boğaziçi University, Melih Bulu, met with students on campus late Wednesday, when he dismissed questions on his resignation.

"It is evident how rectors are appointed," Bulu responded to a question on whether he would resign.

Bulu was repeatedly asked about resignation and left the question unanswered.

"I will facilitate Boğaziçi’s placement among the top 100 universities,’’ Bulu said, adding that there were very few samples of rectors being elected by elections.

"We are in a democratic setting (here), I am very happy,’’ he added. 


20:30 - Boğaziçi Senate cancels meeting with Bulu, rector's adviser resigns

The Boğaziçi Senate and Executive Board have cancelled a meeting set to take place with new rector Melih Bulu on Jan. 7, T24 news site reported.

The announcement follows the resignation of the rector's adviser Zafer Yenal earlier on Wednesday.

Yenal, a professor of sociology at Boğaziçi, made the announcement on his Linkedin account, where he wished to "never see a university with handcuffed gates, in reference to the police intervention on campus earlier this week.’’