As academics and administrators affiliated with colleges and universities around the world, we the undersigned strongly condemn the recent attacks on academic freedom by President Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).
On July 19, over 15,000 teachers and staff have been removed from their jobs, and Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) called upon the deans of all private and state universities to resign, in the wake of the attempted coup d’état on July 15 by a faction within the military. The coup attempt is being cynically used to justify the appointment of party loyalists to those positions, which will politicize academic institutions and undermine both institutional independence and academic freedom throughout Turkey.
In solidarity with our colleagues in Turkey and in the defense of academic freedom, we therefore call upon President Erdoğan to reverse course and to respect the independence of academic institutions and the academic freedom of their faculty and students. We will support this call with the public and private means available to us.
We encourage you to sign this petition: