Academicians expelled from Faculty of Communication, Political Science and the Faculty of Languages, History and Geography at the University of Ankara gathered to declare their resistance to the undemocratic presidential decree
Academicians expelled from Faculty of Communication, Political Science and the Faculty of Languages, History and Geography at the University of Ankara gathered to declare their resistance to the undemocratic presidential decree.
Only few days after an anti-academic Turkish presidential decree targeting all dissenting faculty members from the best schools of Ankara University, the fired academicians met to declare their decision to resist the expulsion. The meeting was called by Egitim-Sen, Educator’s Union, itself under attack from dictatorial and undemocratic attacks of the Turkish government.
Boycott at the start of new academic year
After 5 hours of meeting, the academicians agreed to resist the government decree by not vacating their offices, starting a boycott at the start of the new academic year, a campaign against the university administration and a series of solidarity actions.
The dissident academicians were dismissed from their positions with a decree from the president Erdogan. Erdogan is trying to consolidate the entire power of a parliamentarian system under his personal rule. After a suspicious July 15th coup attempt against his ruling AKP government and himself, which a growing number of analysts believe was staged by Erdogan himself to grab dictatorial powers, Erdogan declared a state of emergency and started ruling the country with his personal decrees instead of the rule of law. All democratic checks and balances were suspended in the country and tens of thousands of public workers from police, judiciary, administration, and the state offices were fired by an order of the president or the government. The last round of firings came after the rector of the University of Ankara, Erkan İbiş, cooperating with the government, prepared and handed the list of all academicians to be fired who disagreed with Erdogan. Using this list, 72 academicians were expelled from their posts on February 7.
Following the expulsions, many graduate and undergraduate classes, including PhD thesis programs, had to be cancelled.
Meeting with the dean
Entering a meeting the dean Kadir Gürdal was holding, students protested how he showed no response on behalf of the faculty being fired. Broadcasting the incident on YouTube and how the dean was hiding and refusing to answer questions on integrity, honesty, academic freedoms and his involvement in the firings, students exposed how the faculty administration cooperated with the government in the attack against dissidents to keep their posts.
Alumni associations immediately blasted the decree. Chamber of Physicians, Confederation of Progressive Labor Unions, Chamber of Engineers and Architects, Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions and the Chamber of Financial Advisors are preparing for a public press conference tomorrow.
Dissident academicians who have been dismissed from their posts have agreed not to vacate their offices but instead gather with their supporters in their chambers against the order to vacate the premises.
Chamber of Engineers and Architects opened up their facilities to the fired academicians so they could gather with their students and continue their lectures outside the university campus.
Students supporting the academicians have left signs reading, “This used to be a school in the past” all over the campus protesting the government decree.