Bulu is gone but his ghost remains: Can Candan, a leading figure of the Boğaziçi University protests, has been terminated by the acting rector

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Translated by Leo Kendrick

Following the dismissal of Boğaziçi University rector Melih Bulu, acting rector Naci Inci has terminated faculty member Can Candan. Candan, a key figure of the protests, has been under a disciplinary investigation. In a memo to Candan, İnci said that the reasons for his termination are “insulting his superiors and university administrators with posts intended to humiliate them and attack their personal rights.”

Naci İnci


After six months of protests against his appointment, Boğaziçi University rector Melih Bulu was removed from his post by presidential decree on July 15th. Following his dismissal, Boğaziçi University Physics Department faculty member Professor Dr. Naci Inci was appointed to the post of acting rector by Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK). In one of his first moves as acting rector, Inci has terminated faculty member Can Candan.

Candan shared the following message on social media alongside his removal notice from Inci: “Naci Inci has sent the following message regarding the termination of my position at Boğaziçi which I have held since 2007, a decision which has been made without consulting my fellow faculty members and department colleagues. I am sharing it with you all for your comments and consideration.”

The decision, signed by Naci Inci, noted that Candan would not be considered for reassignment, and included allegations that Candan had fulfilled only six hours of the 12 hour teaching obligation required of lecturers. Additionally, the removal decision included the allegation, dated 10 July, that Candan had engaged in “insulting his superiors and university administrators with posts intended to humiliate them and attack their personal rights,” which was given as justification for the opening of a disciplinary investigation. 

Can Candan, faculty member and documentary filmmaker, had been amongst a group of Boğaziçi faculty members leading recent protests, and made regular appearances at campus demonstrations against the appointed rectorship. Candan was seen frequently in images taken at the protests, which were closed to members of the press. 

Candan was featured as a guest during Medyascope‘s live broadcast at Boğaziçi following the removal of rector Melih Bulu on 15 July, in which he described the last six months of protests and the demand of university members going forward.

University students continued the protests into 16 July, and confronted acting rector Naci Inci as he exited the rectorate building. 

The text from Candan’s dismissal decision is given below:

“Your position as a lecturer at our University, which began with your appointment on 16.07.2007 in accordance with the obsolete article 32 of the Higher Education Law No. 2547, will not be renewed going forward. Due to violation of Higher Education Law No. 2547, which stipulates that faculty members fulfill a 12 hour teaching requirement of which you have fulfilled only six hours, it has been determined that your continued employment as a faculty member is not worthwhile. Additionally, a disciplinary investigation has been carried out within the framework of Article 53 of Higher Education Law No. 2547, containing the allegation of “insulting your superiors and university administrators with posts intended to humiliate them and attack their personal rights,” dated 10.07.2021 and numbered 21366. Your employment has been terminated as of 15.07.2021.

I request that this information be heeded and observed. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Naci İnci, acting rector.

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