Erdogan calls anti-war students 'terrorists', promises expulsion

Erdogan calls anti-war students 'terrorists', promises expulsion
The Turkish president has launched an investigation and promised to expel anti-war students at Istanbul's Bogazici University.
2 min read
25 March, 2018
President Erdogan delivers speech to AK party members in Ankara [Getty]
Turkey's president called anti-war students at a top university "terrorists" and promised to boot them from their studies, AP reported.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "communist, traitor youth" tried to disturb a local stand operated by religious and nationalist youth at Istanbul's Bogazici University. 

The Turkish president's remarks took place in the northern Samsun province, during which he announced an investigation into the activities of the anti-war students.

"[W]e won't give these terrorist youth the right to study at these universities," he said.

On Monday, students opened a stand distributing sweets called "Afrin delight" to commemorate fallen soldiers fighting across the border in Syria's Afrin.

Anti-war protesters challenged the group, holding banners and chanting slogans such as "the palace wants war, people want peace". 

A heavy police presence was called into Bogazici University following altercations between the two student groups.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said five people supected of attacking the nationalist youth were detained. On Thursday, police also arrested seven others during a campus protest. A video posted online showed plainclothed officers dragging a young man away. 

Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 with the goal of ousting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the northern Syrian region. Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian arm of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which it has fought an armed conflict with for over three decades. Both the US and EU consider the PKK to be a terror group.

Turkey has ramped up its widespread crackdown on dissent following the Afrin offensive. More than 580 people have been detained for "propaganda" on social media in recent months.

Earlier this week, the UN slammed Turkey for its "protracted state of emergency" following the failed July 2016 coup attempt. Turkish authorities have since arrested hundreds of thousands of people. 

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