As the constitutional referendum in April 16, 2017 that proposes a regime change is approaching, the Turkish government continues to silence the democratic opposition through executive decrees. With a new emergency decree issued on Tuesday, February 7 2017, the Turkish government has dismissed another 4,464 public servants from several state institutions, including but not limited to the ministries of Education, Interior Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, the Supreme Election Board.
Among the 4,464, 330 academics were dismissed from 47 universities. 115 of the 330 were the signatories of the Academics for Peace letter. The latest expulsions have brought the total number of dismissed scholars since July 2016 to 7,316.
The February 7 decree has most severely affected the prestigious Ankara University, one of the oldest higher education institutions in Turkey. 72 academics from several divisions were fired from their positions.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the harsh measures the Turkish government has taken against universities and other institutions of higher education, and its systematic targeting of the country’s scholars and professors, since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply distressed by the Turkish government’s actions, which irreversibly harm the entire educational community by undermining universities’ abilities to meet scientific and ethical standards as well as fulfill intellectual, educational, social and institutional responsibilities.