Erdoğan appoints new rector to Boğaziçi University

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday appointed Prof. Dr. Mehmet Naci as the new rector of Boğaziçi University, Turkish Official Gazette said.

Mehmet Naci was appointed as acting rector following the dismissal of Melih Bulu, whose appointment by President Erdoğan in early January sparked more than six months of protests.

The demonstrations at Boğaziçi spread to other universities. The police cracked down, and the government blamed leftists and the student LGBT+ community for the unrest, labelling the latter as "deviants". The targeting of LGBT+ activists sparked condemnation from Western allies, including the United States.

Hundreds of protesting students were detained, with several placed under house arrest. Turkish courts annulled some students' passports, preventing them from travelling on exchange trips abroad. Others lost bursaries, putting them in severe financial difficulties.

Erdoğan removed from office Melih Bulu, a loyalist of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), in a presidential decree published overnight on July 14. He did not give a reason for the dismissal or name a successor.

In July, following his appointment as acting rector, Naci dismissed Can Candan, a faculty member and documentary filmmaker. Candan was a vocal supporter of the student protests against appointed rector Bulu.

In the online rectorate vote held by Boğaziçi University domestic and international graduates on July 30, 89.4 percent of the voters rejected acting rector Naci as a new rector and requested him to withdraw from his candidacy.

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