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Erdogan Fires Controversial Rector After Months of Protests

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reversed his appointment as the Rector of Istanbul’s prestigious Boğaziçi University after months of protests. Critics found that appointment undesirable political interference in education.

 

Erdogan previously held on to the appointment and has not explained why rector Melih Bulu now has to resign.

Erdogan had appointed Bulu at the beginning of this year, which immediately led to protests among students and teachers. Police have arrested dozens of protesters demanding the departure of the rector, who was a candidate for the president’s AK Party in elections in 2015.

Erdogan has previously labelled Bulu’s opponents as “terrorists” to be stopped.

It is unclear who will succeed Bulu now. This is not mentioned in an official announcement. For several years now, the president has had the power to appoint rectors himself. The heads of universities could still be elected through elections before July 2016, but that changed after the failed coup in Turkey.

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