by Leo Kendrick
Boğaziçi University’s protests against newly appointed rector Naci İnci continue, as an alternative graduation ceremony was organized on the university’s south campus this past Wednesday (8 September), attended by graduates, families, and academic faculty members.
A formal, online graduation attended by the new rector had taken place last Sunday (5 September). In response to the formal ceremony, a student group shared a video on social media entitled “Who is the new rector Naci Inci?” The video contained a litany of criticisms of the new rector, with students describing various deeds, or misdeeds, Inci has performed since taking office, such as the firing of several faculty members, as well as condemnation of his controversial appointment to the rectorship.
At the alternative ceremony held Wednesday, alternative diplomas were also distributed which were not signed by Inci. Several faculty members spoke at the ceremony, including Can Candan, a long-tenured Boğaziçi professor who was dismissed by Inci short after he took office as acting rector in July. In the speeches made at the ceremony, past Boğaziçi graduates and faculty members reiterated that the struggle against the newly appointed rector would continue he leaves office.
The official graduation ceremony, originally scheduled for August, was postponed to September after the dismissal of former rector Melih Bulu in July. The graduation was then moved to an online format, which also inspired the alternative ceremony.
Protests at Boğaziçi University have now entered their ninth month. The formal appointment of Naci Inci to the rectorship last month breathed new life into demonstrations, which originally began with the appointment of Melih Bulu on January 1st. Protesters demand a rector chosen democratically by faculty members. Bulu and Inci were both appointed by presidential decree despite the overwhelming opposition of faculty and students.