University students in Tunceli province struggling with housing crisis

University students in eastern Turkey’s Tunceli province are facing a serious housing crisis, with many students having to live in makeshift dorm rooms, the Gazete Duvar news website reported

Dormitories in the city can accommodate 3,000 students, although there are currently 7,000 students enrolled at Munzur University for the 2023-2024 academic year. Many students said they currently don’t have accommodation and have had to spend the nights outside. 

One student said they have been struggling with proper accommodation for nearly two years. “This is my second year, but I have never had a fixed place to stay,” the student said. “We can’t even unpack our bags because we keep having to move from one place to another. I’m sick of having to think about where I will sleep every night. We want the university administration to take the accommodation crisis seriously and think about a solution.”

According to students the crisis was caused by the fact that a state-run dormitory, which was supposed to be ready for this academic year, has still not opened. Students said they were registered to stay in this dorm; however, because it’s still under construction, students are left with no place to stay. 

Authorities from the Turkish Higher Education Credit and Hostels Institutions (KYK) denied there was any such crisis and said they would accommodate the students as soon as possible. 

Student housing has been an ongoing crisis in Turkey for the last few years. A group of university students calling themselves the “We Can’t Shelter” movement staged their first vigil in Istanbul on September 19, 2022, sleeping outdoors in protest of high dormitory and housing rental prices. The protests then spread among university students in various cities.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted the students during a press conference, saying the protestors “were lying” as there were enough dormitories all across the country.

Despite the president’s statements, students have insisted their living conditions have deteriorated to the point that some students have taken their own lives.  

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