Statement condemning the forced resignation of university deans in Turkey

The European University Foundation (EUF) joins the statement issued by the European University Association (EUA) on the 19th of July 2016 about the situation the higher education sector is facing in Turkey:

«Following Friday’s coup attempt in Turkey the education sector, including the higher education sector, has been targeted, as have many other public sectors.

15,200 education staff have been suspended while Turkey’s Hurriyet reports that the Higher Education Council (YÖK) has ordered the resignation of all Deans from both Turkey’s Public and foundation universities, 1176 from state universities and 401 from Foundation universities. EUA condemns strongly and unconditionally this action against universities and university staff, and expresses its heartfelt support for the higher education community in Turkey at this time.

While there has been global and unanimous support for the democratically elected government of Turkey in reaction to the military coup, the measures introduced to-day go in the wrong direction. More than ever Turkey needs freedom of speech, public and open debate, as advocated by its strong university sector, committed to internationally recognised university values, the principles of academic freedom, free expression and freedom of association.

EUA calls on all European governments, universities and scholars to speak out against these developments and to support democracy in Turkey, including institutional autonomy and academic freedom for scholars and students.» 

The EUF also supports the expression of support for Turkey’s threatened higher education sector issued by Scholars at Risk (SAR) and relays the invitation to government and higher education officials together with higher education associations, institutions and professionals from Turkey and elsewhere to develop ongoing dialogue on the responsibility of higher education within a democratic society. Read more here.