9 Boğaziçi student have been arrested by an İstanbul court while 6 others released pending trial after participating in protests against Turkey’s Afrin operation, the T24 news portal reported.

On March 19, a group of students protested other students who had set up a stand at İstanbul’s Boğaziçi University campus to distribute Turkish delight in memory of Turkish soldiers killed during the Turkish military’s operation in Afrin, Syria. Police identified 17 of the protestors and detained 15 of them.

Detentions came only a day after Turkish President Recep Erdogan said on March 20 that the government will “clean communist and terrorist students” out of Turkish universities.

Describing the youths who had set up stands for slain soldiers as “believers, local and national,” Erdoğan slammed the protestors, calling them “communists, traitors and terrorists.”

“Those are terrorist youths. We will conduct investigations into them. After identifying them, we will not let them get an education at the universities because a university is not a place for educating terrorist youths. A university educates the generation who will serve their country and nation,” Erdoğan said during a speech at his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congress at Yaşar Doğu Sport Hall in the Tekkeköy district of Samsun.

Erdoğan in January said Boğaziçi University had failed to become a global brand because it “does not rely on national values.”

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