Turkish police detained 65 people about a top university protests

On Friday, authorities said that Turkish police arrested 65 people late on Thursday about protests which first happening last month at a top university, with the ongoing oppression on the protesters although increasing international criticism.

In fact, students and teachers at Istanbul’s Bogazici University have protested against President Recap Tayyip Erdogan for choosing university director, which is a choice that they said was undemocratic.

The Istanbul governor’s office stated that the protesters had violated a prohibition on public protests, meetings and marches imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also related that the people arrested on Thursday in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district were effecting illegal actions.

Authorities also said that some 600 people have been arrested since January 4 after protests spread in Istanbul and Ankara, and most of them have been liberated, although repeated declarations from officials that the protesters are terrorists. A court spokeswoman reported that two people who were arrested at an Istanbul protest on Tuesday were detained overnight.

Indeed, government response to the protests and denunciation of an art show including a picture blending Islamic and LGBT images has worried the US and United Nations. They criticized what they called homophobic rhetoric. While; Ankara rejected the criticism and said that is interference in its internal affairs.

Besides, the EU Commission indicated that the arrest of students exercising their legitimate right to freedom of assembly was deeply worrying, and the COVID pandemic should not be used as a reason to silence critical voices.

The commission also said: Hate speech displayed by high-level officials against LGBTI students during these events and the closing of a LGBTI association is unacceptable.

On Wednesday, Erdogan declared that his government would not allow the protests to swell into a repeat of widespread demonstrations in 2013, describing the protesters as terrorists, and his interior minister called them as LGBT deviants.

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