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The rector of the Bogazici University in Istanbul, Melih Bulu, was relieved of his office this morning with a decree of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had decided on his appointment last January 2, sparking controversy and months of protests by students and civil society. The most impressive led last April to the request by the Istanbul prosecutor’s office to sentence 97 people to sentences between 6 months and 3 years in prison, accused of breaking the rules against Covid and taking part in an unauthorized demonstration , one of the many organized to protest against Bulu’s appointment.
Several demonstrations, especially in Istanbul, resulted in clashes with the police, with more than 200 protesters arrested, some of them students and later released. The protests in Bogazici, a pole of academic excellence in Turkey, began on January 4, two days after Bulu’s appointment as rector, external to the faculty and already a candidate in parliament in 2015 on Erdogan’s AKP lists. Since 2016, after the attempted coup, the President of the Republic has been directly appointing the rectors, on the proposal of the Yok, the institution for university training.