Kader Sevinc - Smart Democracy & Smart Citizenship

Engin Altay, CHP’s Deputy Chairman in charge of Youth Groups and policies, has condemned the AKP’s violent policies towards University students, and extensive use of force by the Police.

His recent statement is as follows:

Just like the reactions in the early days of the Republic towards Universities or to the Dar-ul Funun, (The first Modern Science University of the Ottoman Empire), we see a similar pressure on universities these days.

In every modern democracy, Universities are the centers of freedom. They represent academic, scientific and financial freedom. But in these days of “AKP’s Advanced Democracy”, Universities are becoming less of higher education centers and more like “Extended High Schools”.

The Supreme Board of Higher Education (YOK) has been working to turn the universities into AKP’s backyard. On top of that, The Administration of Student Loan and Housing (KYK) has been treating the students who have a legal right to protest the government, with an iron fist.

The Administration of Student Loan and Housing (KYK) has framed the recent university students (‘eggthrowers’ as known by the public) as “a threat to national unity” and has requested their punishment according to its bylaw No:23.

Such a punishment would result in discharge of the students from KYK properties indefinitely. This is definitely a disproportionate punishment, and the students who threw eggs have not by any account threatened the unity of the State.

As the events show, The AKP’s opening up 78 new universities in seven years do not add up to a full investment in education system. The KYK’s mishandling of the housing problem has purposefully pushed the students to religious groups’ student halls and this is a deliberate policy to outsource the University housing issue to religious sects and pressure groups.

We hope to believe that the recent news reports about the students being kicked off University housing do not reflect the truth.

We also call for decent public servants to do their lawful duties rather than becoming a shield to PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We heartfully request the Prime Minister to show some tolerance towards the public and especially to university students.

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