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State Conservatory ordered to vacate building for conversion to presidential office

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The Turkish Parliament’s Presidency Council has ordered Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s (MSGSÜ) State Conservatory to vacate its building in five days in order to expand a prime ministerial office in İstanbul’s Dolmabahçe district and convert it into a presidential office after Sunday’s elections.

The MSGSÜ State Conservatory on Thursday published a statement on its website confirming the order to move out of its current building.

The original decision to have the building vacated had been taken by the Presidency Council on June 5, 2017; however, the MSGSÜ administration immediately appealed the decision.

“Although the judicial process is ongoing and there has been no decision in our case, the district governor’s office ordered us to vacate our building by June 26 at 1:30 p.m.,” the conservatory statement said.

According to the Sözcü daily, the conservatory management was notified that if they failed to move out of the building, the electricity and water supply would be cut.

Sözcü also reported that the Presidency Council claimed the building would be used as a museum.

The conservatory has 1,400 students ranging in age from 6 to 25 years.

The MSGSÜ senate will hold a meeting on June 26 before the legal deadline to vacate the building and announce how they will react to the order.

MSGSÜ Rector Yalçın Karayağız also said they will not empty the building until the government shows them a new place for relocation, adding that they had had several meetings with Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman for more than a year.

“Interrupting the right to an education is a crime. It is a violation of the constitution. Shame. They want to kick us out. Not so easy, I would say. We will resist,” the rector said.

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