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: March 07, 2024

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Istanbul University

On March 7, 2024, police prevented a group of Istanbul University students from participating in a march marking International Women’s Day, detaining several protesters. The students intended to march from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences to the main day ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: February 21, 2024

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Istanbul University

On February 21, 2024, police forcibly prevented a group of student protesters from entering the campus of Istanbul University in Fatih, injuring one student. On February 13, Istanbul University’s administration announced that the campus would be open to the public. The ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Date of Incident: December 25, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

In late December 2023, Boğaziçi University (BU) revoked the university ID cards of 16 students who were protesting a decision to restructure the university’s faculties of Science and Literature and of Managerial Sciences. On December 20, 2023, BU’s senate voted to ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: October 05, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Dokuz Eylül University

On October 5, 2023, police detained eight Dokuz Eylül University students during a peaceful on-campus protest against increased food prices. The students gathered in the university cafeteria and banged cutlery on trays in protest of the price increase. Security guards confronted ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: September 02, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Middle East Technical University

In early September, Middle East Technical University (METU) notified five students that the university had opened disciplinary investigations against them for unfurling a pride flag during a graduation ceremony that had been held on July 26. In the days leading up ...

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Date of Incident: September 01, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Boğaziçi University

On September 1, 2023, it was reported that Boğaziçi University (BU) had launched disciplinary investigations against ten faculty members for their participation in daily protests against Melih Bulu, the current rector of the university. On January 1, 2021, President Recep Tayyip ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: July 18, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Uşak University

On July 18, 2023, Uşak University announced that it had opened an investigation against a student who had waved a rainbow pride flag during a graduation ceremony. On July 17, Melisa Caymaz unfurled a rainbow flag that she had hidden around ...

Attack Types: Other

Date of Incident: June 16, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University

On June 16, 2023, private security guards chased and confiscated materials from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSU) students who had organized a parade in celebration of pride month. The students are members of Kuir Baykuş (Queer Owl), a pro-LGBTQ+ ...

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Other

Date of Incident: June 14, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Dokuz Eylül University

On June 14, 2023, police forcibly detained five Dokuz Eylül University (DEU) students for organizing an on-campus picnic celebrating pride month. The students are members of Colors of Resistance, a pro-LGBTQ+ student initiative. Police reportedly followed a public bus that students ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment

Date of Incident: June 13, 2023

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

Institution(s):Izmir Democracy University

On June 13, 2023, police forcefully detained two Izmir Democracy University students for holding a picnic to celebrate pride month. The students are members of Colors of Resistance, a pro-LGBTQ+ student initiative. Colors of Resistance was setting up their picnic in ...

Attack Types: Imprisonment