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Open Letter Condemning the Purge of Academic Institutions in Turkey

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[Please note: we are not asking for donations. If you are asked for a donation on this site, the request is coming from the host site, ipetitions, and not this open letter. Thank you] As academics and administrators affiliated with colleges and universities around the world, we the undersigned strongly condemn the recent attacks on academic freedom by President Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

On July 19, over 15,000 teachers and staff have been removed from their jobs, and Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) called upon the deans of all private and state universities to resign, in the wake of the attempted coup d’état on July 15 by a faction within the military. [Update: the government has instituted a travel ban on all academics, over 100 have been fired in the last 24 hours, and a three-month long state of emergency has been declared. (July 20)] The coup attempt is being cynically used to justify the appointment of party loyalists to those positions, which will politicize academic institutions and undermine both institutional independence and academic freedom throughout Turkey.

In solidarity with our colleagues in Turkey and in the defense of academic freedom, we therefore call upon President Erdoğan to reverse course and to respect the independence of academic institutions and the academic freedom of their faculty and students. We will support this call with the public and private means available to us.

[Signatories, please add your title and institutional affiliation in the comment section when you sign]

photo credit: Murad Sezer, Reuters


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President of the Republic of Turkey

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı

Cumhurbaşkanlığı Külliyesi

06560 Beştepe,

Ankara, Turkey

Tel: +90 312 525 5555; Fax: +90 312 525 583


Higher Education Council President Yekta Saraç

Yükseköğretim Kurulu Başkanlığı Uluslararası İlişkiler Birimi

B-7 Blok, 5. Kat

06539 Bilkent

Ankara, Turkey

Fax: +90 312 266 4744; Email:

Minister of National Education Nabi Avci

Atatürk Bulvarı No: 98

06650 Bakanlıklar

Ankara, Turkey

Fax: +90 312 4188289

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım

Office of the Prime Minister


06573 Ankara, Turkey

Fax: +90 312 417 0476

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