ISA endorses the petition on Academic Freedom for Bogazici University Students and Faculty

ISA endorses the petition on Academic Freedom for Bogaziçi University Students and Faculty

"Turkey’s AKP government continues to undermine the rights and freedoms of individuals as well as the principle of autonomy of universities and civic organizations. Most recently, Turkish police have attacked and detained dozens of students who peacefully protested the AKP's attempt to assert political control over Bogaziçi University in Istanbul.

On January 1, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an emergency decree from 2016 (KHK 676) to appoint Professor Melih Bulu, a loyal member of the ruling party, rector of Bogaziçi University. Bulu is not a member of the Bogaziçi University faculty, which violates the established rules and practices of University governance.[1]

This attempt by President Erdogan to bring Bogaziçi University under his control has sparked widespread faculty and student protest.[2] The government's response has been brutal. Erdogan has called the students "terrorists" and LGBTI+ students in particular have been singled out for harassment.[3] The police have conducted home raids with guns drawn, detained and strip searched protestors, and engaged in torture.[4]

We the undersigned condemn these actions and stand in solidarity with the students and faculty of Bogaziçi University. We call upon Professor Bulu to decline the position and we call upon the Turkish government to release any students still in custody, withdraw all charges, and respect academic freedom and university autonomy."

[1] https://mesana.org/advocacy/committee-on-academic-freedom/2021/01/07/students-detained-after-protesting-appointment-of-new-rector-of-bogazici-university
[2] https://www.duvarenglish.com/bogazici-university-remains-defiant-in-the-face-of-erdogans-attempts-to-crush-academic-freedom-news-55719
[3] https://www.duvarenglish.com/turkeys-erdogan-claims-terrorists-are-involved-in-bogazici-university-protests-news-55789; https://jurnaltr.com/bogazici-universitesinde-gozaltina-alinan-2-ogrenciye-zorla-ciplak-arama-yapildi-polis-ciplak-aramaya-direnen-ogrencileri-yere-yatirip-pantolonlarini-indirdi/
[4] https://www.duvarenglish.com/police-battery-of-bogazici-students-confirmed-by-medical-examinations-news-55774