The Purge Continues—Turkey Dismisses Another 786 People from Universities in Post Coup Crackdown

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

On January 6, 2017, the Turkish government issued three new emergency decrees that dismissed 8,390 civil servants from their positions in several state institutions, including the ministries of Health and Justice, the Office of Law Enforcement, the Armed Forces, and the Turkish Council of State.

649 academics, along with more than a hundred administrative staff members, lost their positions at several universities. 41 of the dismissed scholars were members of the Academics for Peace initiative.

Since July 2016, more than 120,000 people have been dismissed while nearly 44,000 have been jailed and more than 80,000 detained. With the latest decrees, the number of academics who have lost their jobs across the country has reached a total of 6,986.

Friday's decrees also shut down 83 civil society associations. The real estate holdings of these associations, as well as the confiscated private companies’ assets, were put at the disposal of state-appointed trustees. Hundreds of firms, many of which smaller provincial businesses, have been seized in the postcoup crackdown.

Another significant change introduced by these decrees is concerned with citizenship laws. The new regulation enables authorities to strip Turkish nationals who live abroad of their citizenship if they do not come back to Turkey within three months of being summoned by the Turkish state.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide Supports Academics Under Attack in Turkey

The war against academics started long before the attempted coup. On January 10, 2016, a group of scholars calling themselves Academics for Peace signed an open letter calling on the Turkish government to end its violence in the Kurdish provinces. The next day, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the signatories of treason and called for their punishment. The Turkish judiciary system initiated public prosecutions unde