We, academics from the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, are deeply concerned about attacks on academic freedom in Turkey. In particular, we would like to express our support for the higher education community in Turkey following further infringements on university autonomy and dismissal of academics in January this year.
A set of decrees issued in 2016 and 2017, has resulted in thousands of academics being dismissed. The latest attack on Turkish academia in early 2017 has primarily hit Ankara University – one of the leading universities in social sciences and humanities in Turkey.
We are particularly concerned at the use of force against students and faculty who are protesting the most recent decision of the government. In addition, we note that the passports of the dismissed academics and of their family members have been cancelled, imposing a de facto travel ban on them.
In light of these developments, we stand in solidarity with our academic colleagues who have been dismissed and are under attack from their government and the police. We also:
- urge universities to provide institutional support for dismissed and threatened Turkish academics through visiting scholarships, emergency programs, and other means; and
- urge national governments and international organizations to hold the Turkish government accountable for its persistent violations of human rights, academic freedom and the rule of law.