Rival groups clash at Dicle University, many detained

Rival groups clashed at the Dicle University in southern Turkish province of Diyarbakır on Tuesday and police detained many students involved in the violent clashes.

Tension on the campus of Dicle University continued for the second day in a row and resulted in a violent scuffle between pro-Hizbullah students and a left-wing student group.

The tensions started on Monday when the Wise Youth Club, allegedly affiliated with the religious extremist group Hizbullah – which many believed was founded in the 90s by the illegal and clandestine gendarmerie unit JİTEM – wanted to hand out fliers regarding an event to honor Prophet Mohammad. Members of the Dicle University Student Association (DÜÖ-DER), associated with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), tried to prevent the flier handing-out.

The tensions continued on Tuesday as the rival groups convened and prepared to confront each other. Members of the pro-Hizbullah group tried to hang brochures at Agriculture Department’s cafe, facing the resistance by pro-BDP group. The tensions quickly spread into other parts of the campus. Riot police detained V.İ., H.Ö. and M.K. — allegedly members of the Wise Youth — and to prevent a possible clash, members of the Wise Youth were taken out of the campus.

In the meantime, members of the Student Association gathered in the campus to march, but police prevented them from marching as it could lead to further clashes. More than a thousand members of the group then changed the route and marched toward the Science Department, chanting anti-Hizbullah slogans.

The group then entered into the Science Department building, while students inside classes locked the doors and refused to leave. The group then broke down doors, windows and other facilities of the university, emptying the classrooms.

Police intervened to stop the students and detained many who were involved in the violence. Police later increased the security at the university campus.

BDP Diyarbakır Provincial co-chair Zübeyde Zümrüt came to the university to calm down the situation.