Turkish court orders release of two students jailed for protests | News of the protests


The students are charged with protesting the appointment of a rector at the University of Bogazici last October.

Turkish court ordered the release of two university students who spent three months in the first hearing of a larger case concerning the campus protests against the government’s appointment of a rector at Istanbul Bogazici University .

Berke Gok and Perit Ozen, who were in jail awaiting trial, were released on Friday. The students were charged with breaking the law on demonstrations, preventing public officials from doing their duty and stopping a vehicle, among other crimes.

The protests briefly spread elsewhere in Istanbul and other cities, and led to the brief detention of hundreds of people.

The two students were due out of Silivri high-security prison in Istanbul later Friday, lawyer Gokhan Soysal told the DPA news agency, but the trial against them and 12 other students will resume on March 21.

The court imposed a travel ban on the two, the lawyer added.

Ahead of the hearing, students gathered to support the defendants near the main court in Istanbul with placards demanding their freedom.

Burcin Sahan, an attorney for the couple, said after the hearing that the “judicial harassment” against students must stop.

The defendants were part of a group of demonstrators who, in October, blocked the car of Rector Naci Inci. A person got into the car, according to the Istanbul governor’s office.

Sergey Lagodinksy, Member of the European Parliament, said before the judgment that the charges against the students should be dropped and called their detention “absolutely unjustified”.

“Expressing your opinion publicly and peacefully is a fundamental right,” he said on Twitter.

Students and faculty members of the University of Bogazici, some of whom have gathered daily with their backs to the rector’s building, said the protests will continue until a rector is chosen by members of the rector. university and that academic freedoms are guaranteed.

Numerous people have been targeted in connection with the protests and police have used force against peaceful protesters.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even claimed that the protesters had suspected links to terrorism.

A separate trial against 97 defendants will resume next week.


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