SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

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Date of Incident: May 23, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Antalya Akdeniz University

On May 23, 2022, a group of individuals assaulted a group of Kurdish students who were singing and dancing to Kurdish music at Antalya Akdeniz University. Video footage shows one of the assailants kicking one of the Kurdish students. The Kurdish ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: May 20, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On May 20, 2022, police arrested a group of students peacefully demonstrating on the Boğaziçi University campus. The students assembled on campus for an annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade, the same day as a music festival was to take place. The university ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: April 20, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Istanbul University

On April 20, 2022, roughly 20 individuals described as nationalists reportedly used sticks to attack a group of students at Istanbul University’s Beyazit campus. No injuries were reported. Students protesting this attack the following day, April 21, were also reportedly attacked ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: March 29, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Nişantaşı University

On March 29 and 30, 2022, Nişantaşı University dismissed as many as 40 members of its academic personnel in apparent retaliation for a petition and protest related to equal compensation. In late March, research assistants at the private (foundation) university submitted ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: February 28, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Various

On February 28, 2022, police forcibly arrested and briefly detained 26 students participating in a protest over the rising cost of living, gas, and electricity in Istanbul. The protests had been going on since September 2021, when students from various universities ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: February 22, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Akdeniz University

On February 22, 2022, a group of 30 people reportedly entered the Akdeniz University campus and beat three students in an apparently targeted attack on the basis of their ethnicity. The students, Botan Artuç, Fevzi Akan, and Hatice Tonğ, who are ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: January 18, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

In a meeting on January 18, 2022, Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) ordered the dismissal of three deans from Boğaziçi University, apparently for their participation in protests against the university’s rector. On January 19, news outlets began reporting that Boğaziçi ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: January 09, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Ankara University

On January 9, 2022, a group of 30 people armed with knives and machetes prevented three students from entering the Faculty of Law building at Ankara University and attacked them, apparently on the basis of the students’ ethnicity. The assailants, who ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 14, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Ankara University

On December 14, 2021, police attacked and detained peacefully protesting students at Ankara University. Students held a sit-in focusing on Turkey’s economic crisis at the university’s Faculty of Political Sciences after a previous demonstration was violently interrupted by an off-campus group ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment

Date of Incident: December 08, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Ankara University

On December 8, 2021, a group of individuals armed with knives entered Ankara University and attempted to attack students who organized a forum on Turkey’s economic crisis. Students had planned to hold the forum at the Faculty of Political Sciences to ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances