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.

Date of Incident: January 09, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Ankara University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

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 reportedly include alumni of Ankara University, chased after the students, who were reported as being Kurdish, and attacked them in front of a police station. One of the students, identified by the initials K.Y., was stabbed in the leg with a knife while two others, M.U. and D.U., sustained minor injuries.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about ethnically motivated, violent attacks against students apparently intended to intimidate them and/or restrict their exercise of the right to education. State and university authorities have a responsibility to prevent and respond to such attacks, including by investigating and holding perpetrators responsible. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, such violent attacks on campus undermine core higher education values, including equitable access and academic freedom, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED)