Press release on the situation of academic and research community in the Republic of Turkey#

The Academia Europaea urges the government of the Republic of Turkey to uphold the rights of individual scholars and researchers, students and teachers to exercise their academic freedom of movement, dialogue and exchange within a context of European solidarity.

The Academia Europaea (AE) [the Academy of Europe] strongly supports the views and concerns expressed on events in Turkey recently by all of our sister European Academies and their umbrella organisations, such as for example ALLEA.

In particular, we have watched these events unfold with some increasing alarm and our grave concern. The recent suspension of University Deans and other staffs; the sacking or suspension of teachers, public servants and others concerned with teaching, research and learning across all sectors, seems to us to be a wholly disproportionate reaction. Furthermore, the banning of travel, exchange and free movement of Turkish academics within Europe and the pressure on those already abroad to return under some duress, is in our view a violation of the principles long enshrined in academic life - of free discourse, and runs counter to all the recognized norms and practices of our collective European tradition of scholarship.

We strongly condemn these actions and any other punitive or preventive actions taken without adequate distinction that deprives academics and researchers from their fundamental rights, particularly the right to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly as well as the right to exercise their profession without politically or ideologically motivated constraints.

We recognize the current, extreme situation that has caused these actions: but urge the Turkish Government to consider the longer-term, negative impacts of excessive reaction and to moderate the responses; to halt these punitive measures and to return to, and respect and safeguard the principles of academic freedom and autonomy for both individuals and institutions in the science and higher education sectors in Turkey.

We stand in solidarity with our eminent Turkish members, of which we are honoured to number some 20 plus amongst the best of European scholars in our own family. We call upon all of the European Institutions, our national Governments, as well as fellow scientists and scholars across Europe and beyond to express their support for the academic and research community in Turkey.

Issued by the Board of Trustees on 01 August 2016

Download the press statement(info).

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