Open Letter Condemning the Purge of Academic Institutions in Turkey
[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.
photo credit: Murad Sezer, Reuters
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
President of the Republic of Turkey
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı
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
Fax: +90 312 266 4744; Email: email@example.com
Minister of National Education Nabi Avci
Atatürk Bulvarı No: 98
Fax: +90 312 4188289
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım
Office of the Prime Minister
06573 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 417 0476