Turkish university students on trial on charges of terrorist propaganda

A Turkish court opened the trial on Wednesday of 22 students from Istanbul’s prestigious Boğaziçi university who are charged with spreading terrorist propaganda for taking part in a protest against Turkey’s military operations in Syria, the secular Cumhuriyet daily reported.

The students, 14 of whom remain in pre-trial detention, could face up to five years in jail if convicted on charges of propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for more than three decades.

Police stormed student dormitories at the university campus following a protest against fellow students celebrating Turkey’s March victory against Syria Kurdish forces in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quick to label the anti-war students terrorists and the arrests followed.