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 sacked tens of thousands of civil servants, including over eight thousand Turkish academics with many influential critics amongst them. The governmental decrees issued by the Turkish government resulted in dozens of universities and academic departments to close – leaving many students without lecturers and many research projects funded by the state to end abruptly.

Consequently, the large-scale dismissal of academics has had direct effects on the research outputs of Turkey-based academics. In this study, we identified a significant reduction (11.5% on average) in the research output of Turkey-based academics in 2017 compared to 2016. When the average increase of 6.7% per year observed in the research output of Turkey-based academics between 2008 and 2015 is taken into account, this translates to a decrease of over 7,000 papers than the expected figure in 2017.

We also identified substantial decreases in the research outputs of some of Turkey’s top universities such as Bilkent (-9%), Hacettepe (-11%) and Gazi (-20%) in 2017 compared to 2016. Both Süleyman Demirel University and Pamukkale University, which lost nearly 200 academics each to governmental decrees issued by the AKP government, showed nearly a 30% decrease in 2017 compared to 2016. The long-term effects of the draconian measures taken by the AKP government on Turkey-based research and academia remains to be seen.

Click to download full report: FfA Annual Report 2017.

Click to download full report (updated: 03/03/18): Print Friendly version.