26 Mart 2014 Çarşamba

Parallel Pajama Party Packs 'Em In

turkce links to original Turkish article

(Cumhuriyet Newspaper, 26 March 2014)

                                       Please! No pillow or food fights!

Students at Bulent Ecevit University who reside at the
Karaelmas Women Students Dormitory on Milli Egemenlik
Boulevard in the Incivez neighborhood of  Zonguldak staged
a sit-in protest in the garden at about 2200 hours. About 200
students, some of them in their pajamas, claimed that additional
beds had been added to their 3-person rooms, reducing their study
space, as the result of Prime Minister Erdogan's appeal for students
to leave the dormitories belonging to the Gulen community.

//ed. note: Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic preacher living in
Pennsylvania, has become a thorn in the side of Erdogan,
who characterizes the Gulen'ists as a 'parallel organization'
up to no good.//

The students stated that the extra beds in their rooms had
brought the number of roommates to 4 or 5 in the 3-person
rooms. They chanted slogans like "student reclaim your
bedroom!' and "we don't want 4-person rooms!"  The protest
continued despite pleas from dormitory officials. Later,
Musa Alan, Deputy Regional Director of the Zonguldak
Higher Education Credit and Dormatory Council (quite a
title!) came and tried to persuade the students to end their

Alan phoned an official at the Youth and Sports Ministry
and had him speak with student leader Funda Kaya, who
told the official that the desks in their rooms had been
removed and additional beds put in, forcing them to do
their lessons on the floor.  The official gave the students
a written promise to return the rooms to their former
arrangement and the protest ended.

Musa Alan explained that the problem stemmed from the
students who had left the Gulen community dormitories.
He noted that "the problem in Turkey is that our PM has
said 'solve the problem'. For us to be able to solve the
problem the rooms are 40 square meters, housing 3 students.
The students like this but when the Gulen students came
here everything changed. We put some of those who came
from the Alapli dormitory in the rooms and moved some
male students from the Caydamar dormitory to the male
dormitory here. We'll put the new girls over there and
solve the problem that way until the end of the semester."

                          Zonguldak province on the Black Sea coast.

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