A Turkish court handed down heavy jail terms to 15 Istanbul Technical University students for staging a protest against Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to the university campus in September 2008. While Erdogan was participating in a convocation ceremony organized by the university administration to celebrate the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year, a group of students staged a protest outside of the building where the ceremony was held, holding banners and chanting slogans against the ruling Islamofascist AKP and the Prime Minister. Police soon intervened and rounded up 15 of the students, who were later arrested for holding a demonstration “without a permit.” The court proceedings against the students lasted for over two years and resulted in a 15-month jail term for each of the students.

As this incident showcases, police brutality, partisan judicial processes, and heavy penalties against opposition have become commonplace in Turkey, which Erdogan’s Islamic dictatorship is ruling with an iron-fist.


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