On January 4th, thousands of students demonstrated over the appointment of Boğaziçi University’s new rector, Melih Bulu who was a candidate for nomination to run in the Parliamentary elections in 2015 for the ruling party AKP. Despite the police attacks, the students gathered at Boğaziçi University, did not retreat and protested for hours. In the face of the unyielding attitude of the protesters, the police had to release the students who had been detained by beating.
In spite of the repressive regime, sustained by police violence, detentions, arrests, threats, and discrediting campaigns, the emergence of such a backlash has frightened the government. Since the students were not content with opposing the appointment of the new rector, they established a bond among with their struggles and HDP municipalities where trustees were appointed and Bimeks workers who have resisted for their unpaid receivables for weeks. The state might have tolerated a limited reaction against the appointment of a rector to an elite university, but in this case, it has felt profoundly the rage of the young people who have become increasingly impoverished, who had to work while studying, who have become unemployed while working, who have become desperate for their future, and come up against police violence. Because the struggle of the students could be combined with the inwardly growing anger in many facets of society looking for a channel to be revealed, the state has been reminded of the Gezi Resistance. Hence, they have immediately resorted to lies, police operations, and violence as usual.
On the same day, a discrediting campaign started in mainstream. Police raids on students’ homes started from the early hours of January 5th and the raids still continue. Dozens of people, including our anarchist comrades from the Revolutionary Autonomous and Revolutionary Anarchist Activity have been detained. The students taken into custody were battered, homes were plundered, some students were subjected to naked searches, LGBTİ+ students threatened with rape and death. Meanwhile, the government has continued its lies and threats, not only through internet trolls but also with “the most authoritative names”.
As in all parts of the world, people, also in these lands, continue to struggle against the health crisis, increasing state violence and exploitation, which have become visible with the new coronavirus epidemic caused by the ecological destruction and plundering created by capitalism. Along with that, every day, new actions are added to the actions of the employees in the workplaces, those who are condemned to starvation due to the so-called measures taken under pandemic are clamoring more and more, the women are struggling undauntedly against femicide, harassment, rape, male and state violence. However, what they fear is not the local and symbolic actions that have emerged so far, but our rage that has accumulated under the ground. The rage of millions of people who are getting more and more impoverished, who are exposed to the violence of the state in all spheres of life, who feel hopeless, who cannot find a solution but to commit suicide. Despite the detentions, tortures and lies, our anger was at Boğaziçi University today, it will be everywhere tomorrow.
Therefore, we remind that our anarchist comrades and other friends in custody are not alone. We call everyone to be in solidarity and raise the fire that has been started by them.
January 6, 2021