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3 "Fundamental Rights and Freedom in Universities in Turkey" Report Has Been Released!

The conclusion report of the "Campuses as a Civic Space: 3 Fundamental Freedoms in Universities in Turkey" research conducted by the Civic Field Research Association (CSSA) since 2019 has been published. The research that conveys the violations of the right to expression, organization, and peaceful demonstration in the campuses in Turkey through the experiences of the students; reveals a campus experience where students in universities frequently encounter discriminatory inequalities, struggle against various pressure mechanisms on student organization from campus to campus.

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CSSA carried out this study with the support European Endowment for Democracy (EED); by meeting with students from various universities in Turkey, listening to the stories of the students studying at the university under the management of different academic and administrative staff in different local environments as much as possible and by including the subjects' agency in the production of knowledge. While doing this, apart from the meetings they held with the organization of more than 50 students, 266 students from 76 different universities participated in the survey study and 25 students from 18 universities participated in the interviews.

Although it is one of the most fundamental rights of students to have an equally qualified education process and to be able to directly benefit from campus facilities; as stated in the report, many experiences were encountered that contradict the autonomous and democratic structure of universities. In the report, the campus experience was reflected through students' mentions about the actions and activities that could not be done on the campuses, the clubs that could not be opened and closed, the self-censorship in the classes, the violence applied by the security guards, the harassment on the campuses, the unfair investigations, the violations of the right to housing, phobia against LGBTI +, being stigmatized, being blacklisted and threatened while a list of recommendation was created by focusing the needs of students.

● Resolving disputes between laws and regulations and the Constitution, which stand against the observance of the rights protected by the Constitution in universities;
● Ending the seizure of acquired rights such as housing in KYK dormitories, due to disciplinary investigations or judicial investigations, mobilizing all opportunities for all students to enjoy the right to education and housing rights equally and to use these rights throughout their studentship
● In the budget allocated to campuses, to prioritize the creation of physical areas where cultural, sports, and artistic activities can be organized, to remove the arbitrary practices that prevent these activities, to control them, and to end the discrimination faced by students to ensure equality in access to physical facilities,
● Discussing biased, defamatory, discriminatory, and hate speech statements against opposing student groups in the media, revealing false news, and raising public awareness on this issue;
● Establishing the impartiality of education in universities, controlling it with additional mechanisms if necessary or establishing complaint mechanisms, ending impunity against discrimination and favoritism, including students in this mechanism;
● Reuploading the “Gender Equality Attitude Document” to the site, running necessary processes for its effective implementation, creating mechanisms to ensure that gender equality lessons are delivering effectively and appropriately, and ensuring the participation in these courses or information meetings, opening CTS Units and building confidence that students can apply and receive services;
● Taking administrative measures to ensure that LGBTI + students continue their student life without fear of discrimination and violence due to their gender identity and gender expression;
● [Concerning the pandemic process] Observing the right to fair education, the right to housing, access to campus facilities, the right and freedom of expression, organization, assembly, and peaceful demonstration and taking the ideas and suggestion of students in measures taken and the regulations to be made by the university administrations due to the pandemic, if necessary, referring reports and evaluations of civil society organizations on this issue, moving forward with students in decision-making processes; not the face them.

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