Turkish mafia boss calls on controversial rector not to quit despite protests

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Notorious Turkish mafia boss Alaattin Çakıcı has called on Melih Bulu, whose appointment as rector of Boğaziçi University has led to protests, not to resign in order to avoid giving way to “terrorists.”

The appointment of Bulu, a former unsuccessful candidate for a seat in parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last month led to a protest movement, with the students demanding the appointment of a rector from within the university through elections.

In a two-page letter posted to Twitter on Sunday, Çakıcı said there are calls from opposition parties such as the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as well as from the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) for the resignation of Bulu, which he said are aimed at weakening state organizations and an alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its election partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), known as the Public Alliance.

“Never resign. If you do, you will give way to these terrorist protestors. You have no right to undermine this holy alliance,” Çakıcı told Bulu in his letter.

President Erdoğan has been labelling the protesting students as “terrorists,” claiming that the protests are actually not driven by students but by outlawed Kurdish militants “in the mountains” and “some scholars.”

Bulu, who has been resisting calls from students and dozens of academics for his resignation, said in a statement last week that he has no intention of quitting, saying that becoming rector of Boğaziçi University had long been a dream of his.

In the meantime, Turkish media outlets reported last week that prosecutors in Ankara drafted an indictment for Çakıcı on charges of insulting and threatening a public official due to his remarks targeting CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The mafia boss, known for his ties to MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, had been convicted of establishing and leading a criminal organization, ordering a murder, instigating assault and insulting President Erdoğan.

Following Bahçeli’s call for a general amnesty, specifically citing Çakıcı, the mob boss was released on April 16 as part of an amnesty drafted by the government to free a third of Turkey’s prison population to ease overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic, although political prisoners were excluded from the legislation.

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