Islamist group raids Ankara university with banner calling for Ocalan’s execution

Islamist group carrying banner that reads, "Execution for Ocalan, together for a greater Turkey' at Ankara university, 20 March 2017.

An Islamist group raided the Cebeci Campus at the Ankara university carrying a a banner calling for the hanging of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The group arrived at the university in the early hours of the morning on Monday and raised a banner that read ‘Execution for Ocalan, together for a greater Turkey’, reported Turkish daily Evrensel.

The arrival of students led first to verbal confrontation between the two parties, upon which the Islamist group began making nationalist ‘grey wolves’ signs and chanting, “Even if our blood is shed, victory to Islam” and “How happy is the one who says I am a Turk”, reports said.

Short-lived clashes resulted in four students getting injured, one heavily.

The students accused the university’s security of protecting the Islamist group, who then began marching around the campus under police protection, eye-witnesses told Evrensel.

Police entered the university’s communication’s faculty and searched students in the canteen, not allowing them to leave. Two students have been taken into custody.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently promised to reinstate capital punishment in the country if the constitutional reform package granting his extended power is accepted in April’s referendum.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said that reinstating the death penalty would automatically put an end to Turkey’s EU accession process.

Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish PKK, which has waged a three decade insurgency against the Turkish government, was sentenced to capital punishment following his capture in 1999. However his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment as part of Turkey’s EU membership bid.

Commentators have said one of the conditions of Ocalan’s handover by the CIA to Turkish authorities was that he wouldn’t be hanged.