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FfA Annual Report 2017

7,000 papers gone missing: the short-term effects of the large-scale purges carried out by the AKP government on the research output of Turkey-based academics By Freedom for Academia (FfA) collaborators, with input from Prof. Neşe Özgen and Assoc. Prof. Candan Badem* Summary of report Following the “15th July 2016 coup attempt”, the AKP government [...]

Science behind bars: How a Turkish physicist wrote research papers in prison

Ali Kaya says he used science to stay sane during his incarceration. Thousands of academics in Turkish universities stand accused of either having supported terrorism or the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July 2016. Theoretical physicist Ali Kaya is one of them. He was arrested three months after the failed coup and held for more than [...]

Turkey court orders conditional release of hunger-strike academic

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced to prison a hunger striking academic who is protesting her dismissal after last year's failed coup, but released her pending appeal, her lawyer said. Nuriye Gulmen was found guilty of being a member of an outlawed far left-wing group and sentenced to six years and three months in jail, [...]

AKP deputy: Peace signatory academics, journalists do not even deserve to live

Şahap Kavcıoğlu, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said academics, journalists and politicians who signed a peace declaration in 2016 do not deserve to live, Gazete Duvar reported on Tuesday. Signatories of a peace declaration titled “We Will Not Be a Party to This [Turkish state’s] Crime” and issued in January [...]

UCU campaign briefing on academic freedom in Turkey

Trade union members more generally have also been heavily targeted by the government. Our sister trade union in Turkey (Egitim-Sen) has seen over 1500 of its members dismissed and, in total, more than 100,000 public servants in Turkey have been dismissed or suspended by emergency decree. In the words of Amnesty International, 'Cutting 100,000 people [...]

Prominent Turkish academic Fikret Başkaya detained and released

Fikret Başkaya, a professor of Economic Development and International Relations was detained following a police raid against his home in Ankara on Monday. The 77-year-old academic and the author of several books was caught by Ankara police. While the charges raised against him were unknown at the time of this writing, media said police detained [...]

Turkish Courts set to begin hearings of purged dissidents in academia

NEW YORK—The arbitrary use of judicial power in targeting signatories of the January 2016 Academics for Peace petition is the latest in a long series of legal charges filed against civil society actors by authorities, and demonstrates the Turkish government’s ongoing campaign to silent dissent in all its forms. On January 11, 2016, Academics for [...]

Scholar and rector Sait Celik now sentenced to 7 years

On December 22, 2016, Turkish authorities reportedly arrested three scholars from Uşak University on allegations that they were involved with a violent coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The scholars include Nurullah Şanlı, Aykut Yılmaz, and Sait Celik, the university’s rector. Following the July 15 coup attempt, Turkish authorities declared a national state of emergency, [...]

My university is closed down

First a government trustee was appointed to Turgut Özal University where I was lecturing. Then, my university is completely closed down with an emergency decree issued after the 15 July. All the properties of this privately-owned university are seized by the government and many of our lecturers including our president, an orthodontist by profession, have [...]

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