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: February 22, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Akdeniz University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

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 Kurdish, were sitting in a cafe on campus when the group attacked them. The assailants reportedly beat the students with knives, sticks, and brass knuckles. All three students were hospitalized for injuries sustained from the attack.

The attack came roughly five weeks after a similar attack on Kurdish students at Ankara University (see report).

Scholars at Risk is concerned about ethnically motivated, violent attacks on students apparently intended to intimidate them and/or limit 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.