Turkish court ordered the release of two students imprisoned for protest | Protest News

These students were charged for protesting the appointment of the principal at Bogazici University in October last year.

A Turkish court has ordered the release of two university students who spent three months at the first hearing of a wider case on campus protest Oppose the government’s appointment of the principal of Bogazici University in Istanbul.

Berke Gok and Perit Ozen were released on Friday, and they were sentenced to jail on trial. These students were charged with violating laws related to demonstrations, preventing public officials from performing their duties, and intercepting vehicles.

Protests spread briefly elsewhere in Istanbul and other cities, resulting in the brief detention of hundreds of people.

Lawyer Gokhan Soysal told DPA News Agency that the two students are expected to be released from Istanbul’s heavily guarded Silivri prison later on Friday, but the trial of them and the other 12 students will resume on March 21.

The lawyer added that the court imposed a travel ban on the two.

Before the hearing, the students gathered near the main court in Istanbul to support the defendant, holding signs demanding freedom.

Burcin Sahan, their lawyer, said after the hearing that the “judicial harassment” of students needs to be ended.

The defendant was one of a group of protesters who blocked the principal of Naci Inci’s car in October. According to the Istanbul Governor’s Office, someone climbed into the car.

Sergei Lagodinsky, a member of the European Parliament, said before the ruling that the charges against the students should be dropped, adding that their detention was “absolutely unjustified.”

“Expressing your views openly and peacefully is a fundamental right,” he said on Twitter.

Students, faculty and staff of Bogazici University, some of whom gather with their backs to the president’s building every day, said the protests will continue until university members elect the president and ensure academic freedom.

Many people were targeted by protests, and the police used force against peaceful demonstrators.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even claimed that the protesters were suspected of being linked to terrorism.

The separate court trial of the 97 defendants will resume next week.