Turkish government attacks universities

This video from the USA says about itself:

On February 13, 2017, San Francisco Labor Council delegates rallied in solidarity with the academics, teachers and journalists in Turkey at the council meeting.

Many signed a petition Rehire Fired Academics, Educators and Journalists in Turkey-Free Jailed Trade Unionists and Freedom For Academics and Journalists. Fifteen thousand teachers have been fired in a mass political purge.

The petition called for

1. The immediate rehiring of fired professors and teachers in public schools in Turkey.

2. An end to the repression and political purges of democratic dissent including the attacks on journalists who have been fired and jailed by the government.

3. For an end to US military and economic support to the Erdogan government, which is using this aid for further repression and militarization of the country.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Academic freedom must be defended

Saturday 18th March 2017

Rallying cry at conference after Turkish purge

ACADEMIC freedom in Turkey and Britain must be defended at all costs, a peace conference heard yesterday after thousands of Turkish academics have been sacked and hundreds put behind bars.

The Academics for Peace UK conference at Birbeck University, London, was held in memory of Mehmet Fatih Tras who committed suicide in February having been dismissed from his university post and denied other academic positions in the country for over a year.

Since the failed coup attempt of July 2016, thousands of academics in the country have been dismissed and hundreds thrown into prison.

More than 20 universities have been shut down and hundreds of academics have been forced to flee Turkey over fears for their safety.

Professor Naif Bezwan, who was dismissed from Mardin Artuklu University last August, told the Star how the purges of academics in Turkey are unprecedented.

“Compared with other oppressive regimes, in terms of numbers, we have not seen anything like this since the 1930s. This is a really widespread purge with deportations of critical intelligentsia.”

Mr Bezwan added: “Academic freedom should be defended at all costs in order to keep academic freedom in the UK.”

Campaign group Academics for Peace (BAK) was founded in January 2016 with the launch of a peace petition of over 2,000 signatories from 89 universities in Turkey calling on the government to bring a halt to the destruction and civilian killings being carried out in Kurdish towns and cities.

Conference organisers accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of “instigating a campaign of persecution” against academics who had signed the petiton.

Over 700 BAK academics in Turkey have been subject to dismissal, disciplinary action, criminal prosecution and even detention.

University and College Union international spokesman Rob Copeland told the conference that solidarity work with academics in Turkey was a key priority for the union.

He said: “We have been letter writing and protesting but there is no response from the Turkish government” who refused to meet with representatives from the union and their Turkish counterparts.

Mr Bezwan stressed the importance of building support for academics in Turkey saying that “solidarity offers hope to those being persecuted.”

He also urged the British government to set up a fund to help those who have fled the country.

5 thoughts on “Turkish government attacks universities

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