Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Turkey’s Erdogan removes disputed varsity chief after protests

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Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has removed Melih Bulu, the controversial head of Istanbul’s prestigious Bogazici University, after months of student protest at his decision to appoint party loyalists.

Bulu will be removed from office, says the decree signed by Erdogan and published early on Thursday.

No reason was given for the decision.

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The university has been in turmoil since January, with students, academics and supporters demonstrating after Erdogan hand-picked Bulu, who is close to the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Many people were arrested during the protests, with human rights activists accusing the Turkish authorities of an excessive use of force and arbitrary detention.

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The student demonstrators continued to strike a combative tone on Twitter, arguing that their protest was not aimed at individuals but at the government’s appointment process.

Since 2018, Erdogan has decided individually on top appointments.

“We argue that the struggle against trustees appointed to all universities and municipalities should continue without compromise,’’ a student group posted on Twitter.

Bulu’s post was officially advertised.

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It is temporarily being held by his deputy, Naci Inci, the new appointment will be Erdogan’s responsibility.

dpa/NAN

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