ODTÜ – Ankara’s Middle Eastern Technical University – has been the center of fresh tension late on Nov. 17, as the police responded with tear gas and water cannons against protesters who gathered to denounce the construction of a wall at the Turkiey and Syria border.
Police crackdowns have become constant since the Metropolitan Municipality moved ahead with a road project passing through the university’s campus and expected to cause the destruction of over 3,000 trees. Students of ODTÜ and some activists expressed their indignation to the project in numerous protests on the campus, many of that were met with muscled police interventions.
Groups organized a demonstration close to the A1 entrance of the campus – which is also the busiest and lies next to an avenue congested during rush hours – to call the authorities to stop the construction of the controversial wall in Mardin’s Nusaybin district, that lies right across the Syrian town of Qamishli, at the control of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). Protesters also denounced the border troops’ killing of three Syrians who were trying to enter Turkey’s Mardin province.
Some of the protesters put up barricades and set them on fire to prevent police intervention. Many students were affected by the intense tear gas on the campus.