Turkish police, students clash at ODTU

CHP İstanbul deputy Çetin Soysal, who drove to the campus to show his support for the students, was also targeted by the students.

Turkish police, students clash at ODTU

World Bulletin / News Desk

A group of about 500 students from various universities attempting to march to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters to protest were stopped by high-pressure water and tear gas from the police.

The students, holding banners that read “We are rising up,” were stopped by riot police as they started walking from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) campus to the AK Party building, located four kilometers away. The police ordered the students to stop and hosed them down to disperse the crowd. The students responded by throwing stones at the police, who then used tear gas on the students.

The protestors also held banners that demanded equal opportunities in general education, scientific education and education in one's mother tongue.

CHP official targeted

Meanwhile, CHP İstanbul deputy Çetin Soysal, who drove to the campus to show his support for the students, was also targeted by the students. The angry group protested against Soysal, chanting “Fascist CHP get out of ODTÜ” and “We don't want the CHP.” They threw stones and lemons at Soysal, who failed to convince the students to calm down.

The riot police had to put up a barricade in front of the main campus entrance to stop the students. Fire brigades also helped the police in repelling the students when police panzers ran out of water.

In another recent event, a group of leftist students from ODTÜ protested Prime Minister Erdoğan when he was on campus to attend a meeting of the Supreme Council for Science and Technology (BTYK) in mid-December. The students gathered in front of the building where the meeting with the prime minister was being held, arguing they should be allowed to enter a building of their own university and chanting slogans against the ruling AK Party. Police intervened, and 12 students were detained. The remaining students then protested the detentions, refusing to stop despite police warnings. This was a response to the earlier police reaction shown toward student protestors during Erdoğan's meeting with university rectors.

The security force's handling of student protestors has become a matter of debate in Turkey, where police beat a group of students protesting a meeting between university rectors and the prime minister in December.

Last Mod: 05 Ocak 2011, 17:43
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