Turkey is a democratic nation, but all too often the dominant Justice and Development Party leaders prefer that democracy be interpreted as agreeing with their ideas. More than 100 students from leading universities in Turkey face a possible jail sentence because they had the audacity to organize protests about the issue of student rights. On January 5, 2011, nearly 400 students gathered in front of Middle East Technical University to voice their desires for student rights and they were planning to march on local headquarters of the Justice and Development party when halted by police who used tear gas and water to hold them back. The police claim students threw rocks at them, but aside from some minor bruises no policeman was seriously injured.
The Anakara Public Prosecutor Office is ready to charge students with committing crimes and send them off to prison. The prosecutor claims the group displayed “violent behavior.” Give it a rest, Turkey. Look at students throughout the Middle East would regard the actions of Turkish university students as mild, to say the least.