Ankara, Dec.18: Students clash with Riot Police at MET University during protest against PM

December 18, Ankara:
Students Clash with Riot Police in Protest against Visit of PM Erdoğan at MET University

The following message was sent in by activists on the ground:

Students demo in Ankara attacked by police – One Student in mortal danger

Demonstration against the visit of Prime Minister Erdogan at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. Clashes between protesters and the police for several hours. Result: Two heavily injured students and more than two dozen lightly-medium injured students.

«seller of science and imperialist war market-barker Tayyip get out of METU

In the afternoon and early evening of 18th December 2012 according to well-informed sources about 1000 students were protesting at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara, Turkey. The students were protesting against a visit by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at their university. Erdogan and his governmental-party AKP have been pushing forward the privatization and economization of higher education for years. The reason for the visit was the launch of the satellite «Goturk2» of the Turkish government and the Turkish military. The satelite has been shot into orbit on Monday 18th December at around 17:00 Turkish time. The launch was observed at METU by Erdogan, highrank military officials and their entourage through Live-Broadcasting.

The protest however was mainly directed against Erdogan and against the «national and international policies of the authority.» On the front banner it was written: «seller of science and imperialist war market-barker Tayyip get out of METU.»

The 1000 person strong demonstration started to walk at 15:50. At 16:15 the demonstration was attacked without further warning by the 3000 person strong police with rubber bullets, irritant gas and 8 water-canon-tanks. Two students were severely injured. One of them, Barış Barışık, is still in mortal danger. Dozens of other students have been injured during those clashes lasting several hours. Our sources were talking of at least 20. At 22:45 the police was shouting: «no more arrests just beat and leave them»

Following the protests police arrested 12 students after raiding university dorms in Istanbul. The Israel National News reports that during the demonstration itself five students were injured and 26 detained. "At least one student remains hospitalized in serious condition after being struck at close range with a pepper gas canister."


This video shows the demonstration and the clashes with the police.

Two days later, on Dec.20, thousands boycotted classes and joined a rally on campus in reaction to the state repression.


Solidarity from Kiev

People organised in the independent student union Direct Action rallied in front of the embassy of the Turkish national state in Kiev on December 26 to express their support for the students recently affected by state repression at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara as well as in Istanbul.

The following is a translation of a statement published on the website of Direct Action:

We, Ukrainian students and activists, understand our Turkish comrades very well. We also know what the commercialization and clericalization of education are about. We know how the government try to patch holes in the budget and save large capital at the cost of education cuts. We also know that the authorities pursuing their own goals are ready to apply brute force. But the violence against peaceful students demonstration on December, 18, in Ankara, is impossible either to understand or to justify.

We, the Independent students union Direct Action, protest against the brutal police attacks of students of Mid-East Technical University (METU) during their uprisinf against the visit of Prime-Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to their university. We go out to the streets, because our comrades are lying in hospitals at the edge of survival or doing time in jails after illegal police raids. Together with Turkish comrades, we will go out again and again. We will protest until thousands of students who are now imprisoned in Turkey merely because of their political views are free.

We blame Turkish police and government for all this violence and all these crimes, and we don't care whether the state is run by conservative clergy or secular militarists. We demand from the Turkish government:
• to bring to account those who are to blame of brutal attacks at the demonstation of the students of Mid-East Technical University (METU) on December, 18, 2012;
• to bring to account those who are to blame of the injury of Barış Barışık who is now in hospital diagnosed with cerebral hemorrhage;
• to set free all the arrested at the demonstration and after it;
• to satisfy the demands of Turkish students and stop the politics of commercialzation and clericalization of education; to stop cuts in education budget.

Independent Students Union Direct Аction, December 26, 2012

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