The student’s grant cannot be canceled in the event of participation in the demonstration

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Duvar English

An appeal court in Ankara has upheld a local court’s ruling that the Public Student Loan and Dormitory Institution (KYK) cannot cancel a university student’s scholarship on the grounds that he has participated in a demonstration. The decision of the Ankara Regional Administrative Court will set a precedent for other students whose scholarship was canceled for the same reason.

The case concerns the candidacy of Ezgi Orak, a student at Hacettepe University, who last year participated in protests organized for Boğaziçi University. Following these protests, the provincial police department of Ankara wrote a letter to the KYK, under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, demanding that Orak receive a “disciplinary sanction”. After this letter, the student lost her scholarship in August 2021, which prompted her to sue the Ministry of Youth and Sports in a local court in Ankara.

In its defense, the ministry accused the student of “engaging in incidents of anarchy and terror and behavior that violates academic freedom (resistance, boycott, invasion, graffiti, cartoons and slogans)”.

The 5th Administrative Court of Ankara ruled in favor of Orak, saying that the cancellation of the scholarship is against the law because the reason for “participation in illegal demonstrations” is not in the statutes. The court also said that the KYK’s decision would put the student in financial difficulty and is contrary to the “welfare state principle”.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Youth and Sports challenged the local court’s decision to the Ankara Higher Regional Administrative Court, which also issued a decision in favor of the student.

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