Students detained in Istanbul protest against shifting to online education
Turkish police detained on Monday at least 30 protesters who demonstrated against the Turkish president's decision to shift to online education after the earthquakes on 6 February. Reporters at the scene in Istanbul's Kadikoy district were forced out of the area by the police.
Police units first encircled a group of university students who gathered to stage a protest against shifting to online education, a decision earlier announced by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan had said that quake survivors would be placed in dormitories and gave instructions for the immediate evacuation of students.
Kadıköy'de Süreyya Operası önünde uzaktan eğitim kararını protesto etmek için bir araya gelen üniversite öğrencileri, darbedilerek gözaltına alındı. Gazetecilerin ise polis çemberi dışına çıkarılıp görüntü almaları engellenmeye çalışıldı— Evrensel Gazetesi (@evrenselgzt) February 20, 2023
The police then used force to move reporters out of the area and tried to prevent them from taking pictures.
As the group continued to chant slogans and read out a statement the police dragged around 30 students into detention vehicles.
Another group of students gathered near the same neighborhood after the arrests and were similarly targeted by the police, but one from the group managed to read out a statement and voice the students' demands.
The students asked for a reversal of the decision to shift to online education, and stressed that any decision concerning universities should be jointly made by university administrators, teachers, students and workers.
They also demanded that hotels and vacant apartment buildings that belong to private companies should be used for the accommodation of quake survivors, and that university students who lost their homes in the earthquake should be provided assistance by the government to continue with their education.