This essay provides an analysis of international initiatives organized in solidarity with the protests at Boğaziçi University that erupted shortly after the appointment of a new rector on January 1, 2021. It provides an overview of these initiatives by using data from anonymous interviewees who have participated in solidarity initiatives in Germany and the United States, as well as from personal accounts, interviews, and news articles published online. It also draws on the author’s personal, professional and political experiences during the past decade in Turkey, Europe, and the United States to speculate on the sociological background of these actions. It argues that the breadth of protests in solidarity with the resisting students and faculty at Boğaziçi is in part due to the de facto exile of young university graduates and academics from Turkey across Europe and North America. The essay claims that this generation of migrants from Turkey, together with their counterparts from previous generations, have provided a broad base for the support that current Boğaziçi students and faculty have received during their quest to preserve a democratically run university. It also explores the reasons that the solidarity initiatives have received support from academics and students who are not in Turkey, citing the resonance of the demands for a democratically organized university and academic freedom under neoliberal and authoritarian conditions across the globe.
#AşağıBakmayacağız (“We Will Not Look Down”): International Solidarity with Boğaziçi University Protests and the Struggle for University Autonomy under Authoritarian Neoliberalism
Cihan Tekay; #AşağıBakmayacağız (“We Will Not Look Down”): International Solidarity with Boğaziçi University Protests and the Struggle for University Autonomy under Authoritarian Neoliberalism. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2022; 121 (1): 210–219. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-9561671
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