In July, we protested the arrest of one of Turkey’s most prominent academic reformers, Kemal Gürüz, who was arrested and jailed for the second time based on charges of participation in a 1997 plot. He is a retired chemical engineer and former president of both the Turkish of Higher Education Council (YÖK) and the Turkish science-funding agency TÜBITAK. The move was condemned by human-rights activists and some Turkish scientists, who say that it is part of a systematic intimidation of academics who oppose the growing influence of Islam in the country’s academic institutions. We urge readers to sign a petition for his fair trial and immediate release on bail that is being circulated by his supporters at:
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From his prison cell, Professor Gürüz has written a narrative called “Maximum Security Prison Days: Punishment for a Life Dedicated to the Pursuit of Academic Excellence” that was forwarded to his supporters by Mrs. Guniz Guruz. It contains a description of the political background of his arrest, the struggle to maintain the independence of higher education in Turkey against political interference, and his own arrest and reactions to it. With the author’s permission, we are including the whole of his narrative in the PDF below.