On July 2, 2022, the Bogazici University (BU) administration threatened to withhold alumni cards and ban entry to campus for any students who participated in protests during the graduation ceremony taking place from July 4 to July 6.
Starting on July 4, several students reportedly received emails from the BU administration notifying them that their alumni cards were canceled indefinitely for disturbing “the peace and security of the university with demonstrations and actions on campus.” Without the alumni cards, graduates would be barred from entering campus. Some of the students who received the email reportedly didn’t even attend a graduation ceremony.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about arbitrary disciplinary actions against students in an apparent effort to restrict the nonviolent exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly – conduct which is expressly protected under international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a party. University authorities should refrain from disciplinary actions intended to restrict or retaliate against nonviolent expressive activity. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, expulsions aimed at restricting or retaliating against such activity undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.