08/04/2021 | Writer: Yiğit E Korkmaz

"Melih Bulu, who officially closed the Boğaziçi University LGBTI+ Studies Club with various excuses and false allegations, used the same methods to cease the funcionality of the Boğaziçi University Commission to Prevent Sexual Harassment (CİTÖK)."

After shutting down the BÜLGBTİ+, Melih Bulu ceased the functionality of the anti-sexual harassment commission Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Melih Bulu, the appointed rector of Boğaziçi University, has forced the office coordinator of the Boğaziçi University Commission to Prevent Sexual Harassment (CİTÖK) to unpaid leave.

Cemre Baytok, the office coordinator of CİTÖK, was the only employee of the office. Following Bulu's decision, the Commission announced that the work of the CİTÖK office had been effectively ceased.

Bogazici University Women's Studies Club (BÜKAK) stated that the guiding and advising mechanism in cases of sexual harassment will be disrupted, adding that "we do not accept this dysfunctionalization effort against CİTÖK". Emphasizing the fact that administrative staff, faculty representatives and student representatives in the commission are continuing their work, BÜKAK stressed that they will monitor the process.

Unlawfully closed Boğaziçi University LGBTI+ Studies Club said that Melih Bulu, who officially closed the club with various excuses and false allegations, had rendered CİTÖK dysfunctional by the same method:

"It is clear that this decision cannot be considered separately from the intimidation policies and the decision of the government to withdraw from the İstanbul Convention, that was passed against all feminist objections. The masculine violence, which has been legitimized by the government throughout the country, is also being extended to the Boğaziçi University with the trustee Melih Bulu,  an extension of the same government. In these days, while oppression and fear are horrifyingly intervened in our lives, masculine violence and discriminatory state policies are targeting everyone. This decision to effectively end CİTÖK pushes all Boğaziçi constituents, especially women and LGBTI+s into insecurity. Our request is that this decision to render the CİTÖK dysfunctional and the decision to withdraw from the İstanbul Convention be withdrawn immediately. We remind you again and again: We will not give up our gains!"

Cemre Baytok, CİTÖK office coordinator, explained the process in an interview with Çatlak Zemin:

"At this stage, considering that the commission will continue and the office is effectively closed, I think the commission will continue its work with the support of the students who want the work on this issue to continue. First of all, it is clear that the existence of the office is very functional for students. Of course, years of hard work, experience, the principle of achieving gender equality, now widely adopted in institutions and academia, will not suddenly disappear with the closure of the office. However, the coordinator is in a position that not only directs applications but also conducts information and training studies. The lack of an office would be a shortcoming in that respect. For example, for the last three years, preparatory students have been listening to two introductions about university life from CİTÖK during orientation and taking compulsory courses in the following months. We, with the non-university institutions we work with, have tried to address the shortcomings in access to information, especially among the younger generation, to provide the information they need especially in sexual health, and to establish a mechanism that they can apply only to consult. In the light of this experience, I believe that the commission and Boğaziçi University will reopen the office."

Tags: human rights, women, education