Fourteeen university students sentenced to prison terms by Turkish court
A Turkish court sentenced a group of students to prison terms on Friday on charges including "participating in illegal protest" and "resisting the police."
The students from Istanbul's Bogazici University were prosecuted over an incident in which the university's rector Naci Inci was stopped in his car by a group of protesters in the campus.
The final session of the trial in Istanbul was attended by deputies for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) in a gesture of support for the students.
While all students were sentenced to prison terms of one year each, two were sentenced to a further one year and six months and one year and two months, respectively for "inflicting damage on public property" and "insulting public servants."
The students were acquitted of the charge of "obstructing public servants in the discharge of their public functions."
While Bogazici University is known to have a tradition of promoting freedom of speech and expression, things began to change at the administrative level as Melih Bulu was appointed rector in January 2021 by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan despite strong opposition by a great majority of the academic staff and students.
Bulu was replaced by Naci İnci, also appointed by President Erdogan, only six months later on July 2021, as an equally unpopular rector.