Erdogan says he will not let Turkish university protests swell

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03/03/2021

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday his government would not allow month-long demonstrations at a Turkish university to grow into anti-government protests similar to those in 2013, calling the protesters “terrorists”. Defying a government ban on demonstrations, students and teachers at Istanbul’s Bogazici University have protested Erdogan’s appointment of Melih Bulu, an academic and former political candidate, as rector. They say the process was undemocratic and want him to resign, causing a nationwide debate over the government’s reach and separate protests elsewhere. More than 250 people were detained in Istanbul this week and 69 others in Ankara. The United States on Wednesday said it was “concerned” by the detentions of students and other demonstrators while condemning the anti-LGBTQI rhetoric around the protests. Turkey’s interior minister on Tuesday called student protesters “LGBT deviants” on Twitter, prompting the social media platform to put a rare warning on his comment. The unrest marks some of the largest demonstrations since 2013 when hundreds of thousands of people marched against government plans to build replica Ottoman barracks in Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

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