When his university accused him of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization, Clyde Forsberg, an American citizen teaching in Turkey, posted on Facebook that he suspected his real crime was "aiding and abetting poetry."
The Middle East Studies Association recently wrote to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying "the Turkish government's actions against the country's academics and universities exceed the bounds of a legitimate and targeted effort to detain and prosecute those responsible for the coup attempt."
"The assaults on academic freedom and higher education by the Turkish government are proceeding on the basis of allegations of links between the individuals and institutions targeted and the planning of the failed coup," MESA's letter states. "Those allegations do not appear to include direct involvement in the planning or execution of the attempted coup but rather suggestions of financial and other ties to the exiled cleric, Fethullah Gülen...Public reports suggest that some academics are under investigation because they took out a mortgage with a bank that is allegedly tied to Gülen or attended a school with links to the cleric's educational network. Without more evidence of a direct relationship between the attempted coup and the affected universities, academic faculty and staff, the basis for these actions amounts to little more than guilt-by-association."
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