February 20, 2017

Over 5,500 Academics Dismissed from Positions in Turkey since Rule of Law Suspended

Scholars At Risk report that the pressure on Turkish academics has persisted into the 2017 as a new decree was issued dismissing over 600 scholars and more than 100 administrative personnel from higher level educational institutions.

Scholars at Risk

Turkey Decree, Turkish academics arrested

Pressures on Turkey’s Scholars Renewed in the New Year

On January 6, state authorities issued a decree ordering the dismissal of 631 academic personnel and 155 higher education administrative personnel, on suspicion of connection to July’s violent coup attempt.

Following the coup attempt, Turkish authorities declared a national state of emergency which was extended for an additional three months on January 3rd. According to this decree, the individuals dismissed were identified as being affiliated with “organizations or groups that are determined to carry out activities against state’s national security.” However, the evidentiary basis for these claims remains unclear. In addition, the decree provides that the dismissed academics and administrative personnel are subject to a lifetime ban from employment as civil servants; their passports will be cancelled; and they will be stripped of the right to access public housing and those living in public housing will be required to evacuate within 15 days.

This brings the total number of higher education personnel in the higher education sector dismissed through emergency decrees since the coup attempt to 5,583.