On 7 February 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a new decree (KHK 686), resulting in the dismissal of another 4464 public employees, among them 330 academics. The names are published on the Turkish Official Journal. According to Turkey Purge
, a monitoring website, the total number of academics that have been dismissed after and in relation to the July 2016 coup attempt is now 7317. EUA has many Turkish members and is deeply concerned by these developments. The Association continues to monitor the situation and is in regular contact with the Turkish Higher Education Council.
EUA is deeply concerned by the executive order issued by US President Donald Trump and its immediate and unnecessary consequences on international researchers, university faculty and students. The order, temporarily preventing entrance into the US of persons from seven Muslim-majority countries, unfairly disrupts not only individual lives but is potentially damaging to the free flow of people and ideas that is paramount in higher education and research.
European universities call for immediate rethinking of Trump’s executive order
15 November 2016
The first outcome of the decrees issued on 29 October was that EUA Board member, Gülay Barbarosoğlu, is no longer President of Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, despite the record number of votes she received in the elections that were held in the university on 12 July 2016. EUA once more emphasised its solidarity with the Turkish academic community, and in particular with its Board member Gülay Barbarosoğlu, and underlined the importance of standing up for university values and remaining committed to the internationally recognised principles of university autonomy and academic freedom which are under ever greater pressure in Turkey.
Press Release: University autonomy in Turkey: First impact of new decrees
30 October 2016
EUA expressed concern after news that two decrees that impinged on university autonomy and academic freedom were issued on 29 October. The decrees published in the Turkish Official Journal state that from now on university rectors will no longer be elected, but appointed by the President of the Republic who will take the decision based upon three candidates proposed by the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK). In exceptional cases a direct appointment of the university rector by the President of the Republic is possible, without any involvement of YÖK.
Press Release: Autonomy and academic freedom under further pressure in Turkey
EUA Statement: Turkey after the coup attempt - EUA meets with Turkish Higher Education Council
- Turkey: EUA hosted a meeting with the Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) to discuss developments in the Turkish higher education sector following the attempted coup on 15 July 2016. The meeting took place at the EUA headquarters in Brussels on 6 September.
EUA statement: EUA condemns attack on American University in Afghanistan
- Afghanistan: EUA strongly condemns the attack on the American University in Kabul, Afghanistan that took place on 24 August 2016. A group of militants raided the university killing 16 people, including students and staff, and injuring dozens more. Attacks on universities, their students and scholars weaken or destroy academic freedom, have a devastating impact on research, teaching and access to education, and impair society’s long-term development.
- Turkey: EUA issued a statement condemning the forced resignation of 1577 university deans and called on all European governments, universities and scholars to speak out against the developments and to support democracy in Turkey, including institutional autonomy and academic freedom for scholars and students. Turkey’s Higher Education Council (YÖK), an EUA member, responded with a letter to the EUA Board clarifying its position and the next steps envisaged as well as expressing its willingness to engage in further communication with partners. Exchanges are ongoing and a meeting between a YÖK Delegation and the EUA Board is scheduled to take place in Brussels.
EUA Statement condemning the forced resignation of 1577 university deans
EUA Statement: Academic freedom under pressure in Turkey
- Academic freedom under pressure in Turkey: EUA expresses solidarity with universities and scholars where academic freedom is under pressure, especially in Turkey where there are reports of retaliation against academics who have expressed their views on military action in south-eastern Turkey. EUA stands up for university values and calls on all governments, universities and scholars, as well as all higher education stakeholders to remain committed to the internationally recognized principles of academic freedom and to work towards constructive dialogue.
Refugees Welcome Map: EUA launched an interactive map to showcase and document the commitment of higher education institutions and organisations in supporting refugees. EUA is collecting data on their initiatives and activities via a brief survey and presenting them in this map, which will be continuously updated. The campaign began in Europe but is open to institutions and organisations around the world.