Freedom of Speech? Not if You’re a Turkish Student

Recently, a group of faculty set up a white board outside a prison in Northwestern Turkey and proceeded to give lectures.  The students, unfortunately, were inside the prison and not allowed to attend.  Prof. Dr. Beyza Üstün from Yıldız University began the class by explaining

“We came here for our students under arrest. This is not their place, they should be at their classrooms.”

According to BIANET, the independent human rights news organization that reported on the faculty lectures, some 600 high school and university students are currently under arrest.  Their offenses vary: a number of students were arrested for selling concert tickets; some for demanding free education; some for taking part in demonstrations; one for carrying a sign that declared “Women are not slaves of men nor power”.  This particular student was found not guilty of “being a member to a terrorist organization”; however she and five other students were found guilty of making “propaganda of a terrorist organization”.