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‘Right to education violated’: Can Candan not let in Boğaziçi University again
18/11/2021, 14:21


Having taught classes at Boğaziçi University for 14 years and been dismissed by appointed rector Naci İnci on July 16, academic and documentary filmmaker Can Candan was not allowed to enter the university campus where he was invited to a course yesterday (November 18).

Candan was invited by Dr. Lecturer Saygun Gökarıksel from the Department of Sociology to his class Eastern Europe Seminar, where Candan’s documentary “Duvarlar-Mauern-Walls” (2002) would be screened and discussed. Not allowed to enter the campus before because the appointed rectorate had “banned” it, Candan was not let in the campus again.

Academic Saygun Gökarıksel, who invited Can Candan, took down minutes about the incident, noting that the class was interrupted for this reason and his students’ right of education was violated again.

Dr. Lecturer Gökarıksel said, “In the Eastern Europe class that I teach this semester, I wanted to show Candan’s documentary about the Berlin Wall and all the walls separating people and I wanted him to discuss his experience and his documentary film with my students.”

He added: “But a group of plain clothes police officers surrounded us at the entrance to the South Campus; the police watched us while we were taking down minutes and talking to the security guards. Today, at the campus gate, we were shown no justification or written document other than ‘There is an instruction from high above, from the university administration.’

“We took down our minutes and we gave our class with the online participation of my colleague Can Candan afterwards. It was an extremely fruitful course for both my students and myself.”

What happened?

After Melih Bulu, the appointed rector of Boğaziçi University, was dismissed by a Presidential decree on July 15 amid wide-scale protests, Naci İnci, who was the vice rector of Bulu, was first appointed as the acting rector of the university by the Council of Higher Education (YÖK).

Shortly after his appointment as an acting rector, Naci İnci sent Can Candan a letter, informing him about his dismissal.

Can Candan, a documentary filmmaker, academic and faculty advisor of the BÜLGBTI+ Student’s Club, which was closed by the appointed rector, had been filming and documenting the protests of Boğaziçi University faculty against the appointment of Melih Bulu for months.

Going to the South Campus of the Boğaziçi University for his open class on October 11, Can Candan was not let in the school.

Candan has shared the incident in a video on Twitter, briefly saying, “I was going to have the first meeting of my documentary filmmaking course with my students at the South Campus as an open class today. We, my spouse from the Department of Sociology and I, came here together in our vehicle. When they saw me, ‘Professor, we cannot let you in.’ When I asked the reason why, they said, ‘There is an instruction from the Rectorate.’ I now cannot have my open class which I was planning to have.”

After the appointed administration dismissed Candan despite the decisions of the faculty and department, he announced on Twitter that he would be giving his classes FA 498 Documentary Cinema and FA350 Film Project, which he had been offering every fall semester for 14 years.

The first class of this semester was scheduled for October 11 at 10 am – 2 pm at the South Campus and would be broadcast online.

After his dismissal from Boğaziçi University, Can Candan said that this decision was, above all else, an attack on students’ right to education and filed a lawsuit against the Rectorate of Boğaziçi University on August 13 and demanded the stay of the execution and termination of his dismissal. The İstanbul 2nd Administrative Court has dismissed this application by concluding that the related action “was in conformity with the law.”

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