top of page

Turkey Sacks 10,000 More Civil Servants

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Under a legislative decree published on Saturday, Turkish authorities fired more than 10,000 public servants for alleged ties to the movement affiliated with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen and shut down 15 media outlets.

The new decree "made it easier to sack public officials believed to be members of terrorist organizations or groups involved in activities against the country's national security," state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

"The little formal autonomy we had at the universities has been totally abolished yesterday by the same decree which gives the 'elected' president the absolute power over the appointment of the university's rector positions. The institution of 'university' as we know it is over in Turkey," Halil Ibrahim Yenigun, a research fellow at the Europe in the Middle East (Transregionale Studien) who is currently in Berlin, informed Endangered Scholars Worldwide.

Yenigün himself was dismissed from his position at İstanbul Commerce University in February 2016 for signing the Academics for Peace petition.

More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended, and 37,000 had been arrested since the abortive putsch in an unprecedented crackdown President Erdogan says is crucial for wiping out Gulen's network from the state apparatus.

Thousands more academics, teachers, health workers, prison guards, and forensics experts were among the latest to be removed from their posts through two new executive decrees published in the Official Gazette late on Saturday.

Opposition parties described the move as a coup in and of itself. The continued crackdown has also raised concerns over the functioning of the state.

"What the government and Erdogan are doing right now is a direct coup against the rule of law and democracy," Sezgin Tanrikulu, an MP from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said in a Periscope broadcast posted on Twitter.

The updated tally of Turkish academics who have been fired from their positions and face prosecution is as follows:

(Last Update—November 16, 2016, 9:00 AM, EST)

Batman University

Professor Düzgün Çakırca (Architecture)

Please send appeals to the following:

Rector, Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam Uluçam, Batman University


Cumhuriyet University:

Professor Ali Çeliksöz (Parasitology) Professor Sebahat Demirel Akkaya (Fine Arts)

Please send appeals to the following:

Rector, Prof. Dr. Alim Yıldız

Cumhuriyet University


Düzce University

Professor Latife Akyüz (Sociology)

Please send appeals to the following: Rector, Prof. Dr. Nigar Demircan Çakar,

Düzce University


Fırat University

Serdar Başçetin (Research Assistant—Political Science and Public Administration)

Serdar Çagırga (Research Assistant—International Relations)

Please send appeals to the following:

Rector, Prof. Dr. Kutbeddin Demirdağ

Fırat University


Gaziantep University

Nalan Mumcu (Research Assistant—Media, Radio, TV, Cinema) Professor Rana Gürbüz (Economy) Sedat Erçin (Research Assistant—Public Law) Professor Pınar Şenoğuz (Sociology)

Professor Fulya Doğruel (Sociology)

Please send appeals to the following: Rector, Prof. Dr. Ali Gür

Gaziantep University Email:

İstanbul University

Professor Zeynep Kıvılcım (Political Science and International Relations) Professor Erhan Keleşoğlu (Political Science and International Relations) Professor Ertan Ersoy (Economy) Professor T. Hakan Ongan (Economy) Professor Ahsen Deniz Morva (Media Studies)

Please send appeals to the following: Rector, Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak

İstanbul University

Mardin Artuklu University

Professor Naif Bezwan-Bilmedi (Political Science and International Relations)

Please send appeals to the following: Rector, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ağırakça

Mardin Artuklu University


Ministry of National Education

Nihat Kotluk Öğretmen (Lecturer—Physics)

Please send appeals to the following: Minister İsmet Yılmaz

Ministry of National Education, Republic of Turkey Email: Fax: 0090 312 417 70 27

Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology

Elif Sandal Önal (Political Science)

Please send appeals to the following: Dr. Faruk Özlü, Minister Minister of Science, Industry and Technology

Email: Fax: 0090 312 219 67 45"

Munzur (Tunceli) University

Professor Veysel Demir (Environmental Engineering)

Please send appeals to the following: Rector, Prof. Dr. Ubeyde İpek

Munzur (Tunceli) University


Türkisch-Deutsche Universität

Professor Mehmet Efe Caman (International Relations)

Please send appeals to the following: Rektor, Prof. Dr. Halit

Türkisch-Deutsche Universität

Email: Akkanat,

Yalova University

Onur Yıldız (Research Assistant—International Relations) Selda Altınok (Research Assistant—Social Work) Hande Gülen (Research Assistant—Social Work)

Please send appeals to the following: Vice Rector, Professor Hüseyin Yıldırım

Yalova University


Endangered Scholars Worldwide Supports Academics Inder Attack in Turkey

The war against academics in Turkey started long before the attempted coup. On January 10 of this year, a group of scholars known as the Academics for Peace signed an open letter asking 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 under Turkish antiterror laws, alleging defamation of the Turkish state and accusing signatories of spreading “terrorist organization propaganda.” Turkey’s Higher Education Council (YÖK) ordered university rectors to commence disciplinary investigations. Numerous suspensions, dismissals, and imprisonments followed.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the detention of and professional retaliation against academics and human rights activists 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 of which Turkey is 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 and academics.

Endangered Scholars Worldwide calls on the United Nations General Assembly and member governments to put pressure on the Turkish government and express concern over the actions taken by officials against universities and higher education establishments.

Please join The New School, home of the original University in Exile and Endangered Scholars Worldwide, in calling on Turkish authorities to

  • cease their attacks on Turkish academics and universities;

  • free those who have been arrested without cause;

  • allow those who wish to travel freely outside the country to do so; and

  • make Turkish universities once again the havens of freedom of inquiry and free expression that all great universities must be.

ESW Stands With Academics For Peace in Turkey: Urgent Call for Solidarity

Members of the Academics for Peace and Education and Science Workers Union (Eğitim-SEN) have been removed from their positions in public higher education institutions permanently.

In January 2016 2,218 scholars from Turkey signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime,” also known as the Peace Petition. Since, the signatories have been subject to heavy pressure and persecution. Hundreds of them have faced criminal and disciplinary investigations, custody, imprisonment, and violent threats. Several academics have been dismissed or suspended while some were forced to resign or leave the country.

Turkey experienced a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and the Turkish government holds the religious group led by the US resident cleric Fethullah Gülen responsible. After this event, government and university administrations have continued targeting the Academics for Peace with the pretext of purging Gülen-affiliated individuals from public service.

The latest mass purge came late at night on September 1, 2016 via a cabinet decree within the context of the state of emergency rule. More than 41 Peace Petition signatories were deemed “supporters of terrorism” and banned from public service, alongside more than 40,000 public service employees. Note that many of the signatories have already been under administrative investigations for signing the Peace Petition, without a conclusion. The dismissal of the signatories overnight with a fait accompli of a State of Emergency decree is a serious violation of their basic human right to fair trial and due process. Dismissed under the conditions of state of emergency, they will neither be able to appeal the decision nor work in public sector for a lifetime; their passports will also be revoked.

This latest attempt to purge the Academics for Peace by linking them to coup plotters is outrageous and unacceptable. The government of Turkey is taking advantage of the state of emergency rule to crack down on all critical voices, including those who have no relation to the Gülen organization or the coup attempt. We demand that our colleagues get reinstated to their positions and have their employee rights fully restored.

Please share our call for solidarity with those in your networks. Ask your college, university, professional organization, or union to publish a statement in support of the Peace Academics and send it to government and university officials in Turkey.

Send appeals to the following:

His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President of Turkey

Office of the President

06573 Basbakanlik



Fax: +90 312 417 04 76

His Excellency Bekir Bozdağ

Minister of Justice

06669 Kizilay



Fax: +90 312 419 3370


bottom of page