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Academic Purge in Turkey Continues

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

On July 8, 2018, the Turkish state issued the 10th statutory decree since the coup attempt in July 2016, which discharged another 18,632 civil servants from several state offices including ministries of Education, Internal Affairs, Justice, and Armed Forces. The dismissals included 199 academics, making it so that as of July 13, the number of academics who have lost their jobs reached to 6,081. The number of those who were reinstated, however, was only 174.

18 of 199 of the dismissals are members of Academics for Peace initiative from Abant İzzet Baysal, Dokuz Eylul, Batman, and Mersin universities. Their dismissals increased the number of Peace scholars who have lost their jobs and passports to 404. Hundreds of the 2,212 Peace academics are also facing charges on the grounds of antiterror law.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the professional retaliation against academics in Turkey in response to their exercise of the rights to academic freedom, free expression, and free association, conduct that is expressly protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both to which Turkey is a party. The ongoing tensions in Turkey have a profoundly destructive effect on academic freedom and represent a grave threat to higher education on a national scale. We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide urge Turkish officials to honor their constitutional obligations to protect the institutional integrity of universities and the academic freedom of scholars.


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