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 26, 2022

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Munzur University

On May 26, 2022, Turkish police detained 11 Munzer University students peacefully protesting the establishment of a so-called “Youth Center,” which is affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on campus. Sources indicate that students chanted slogans and performed ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

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: 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

Date of Incident: November 08, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Ankara University

On November 8, 2021, Turkish police beat and arrested 11 students protesting Turkey’s Council on Higher Education (YÖK) on Ankara University’s Cebeci Campus. YÖK was established by Turkey’s then military government in 1981 to oversee and manage higher education. Since then, ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Violence

Date of Incident: November 05, 2021

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Firat University

On November 5, 2021, Hifzullah Kutum, a Kurdish research assistant at Firat University, was briefly detained by Turkish authorities and suspended from his position by the university’s administration in response to his social media activity. On September 14, Kutum posted the ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment | Prosecution | Loss of Position