Letters and statements expressing concern about the climate for academics in Turkey continue to accumulate after the announcement last week that 2,346 academics had been fired for alleged links to the July 15 coup attempt. Since the failed coup, the Turkish government has suspended, dismissed and arrested professors; ordered the closure of 15 private universities; imposed professional travel restrictions on faculty; and ordered the resignation of all 1,577 university deans, the majority of whom have since reportedly been reinstated (more on that below).
"While we recognize that the attempted coup represented a threat to Turkish national security, and that the government must take legitimate precautions in the aftermath of that violence, mass firings of university faculty and staff have no rational relationship to such legitimate measures," the Middle East Studies Association's Committee on Academic Freedom wrote in a letter to Turkey's prime minister Tuesday. "Instead, the mass firings suggest the continuation of a government campaign of intimidation, threats and attacks on academic freedom that began well before the attempted coup."
[Ed. Note: To read the rest of this article, please click here.]