Erdogan denies restrictions to universities’ academic freedom

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is not any university in Turkey where there is no academic freedom. He said this during a meeting with doctoral candidates at Millet Library as part of Library Talks events, reports Ahval.

Arti Gercek news site reported that the Turkish president maintained that Turkish universities cherish academic freedom. “We do not seek to restrict freedoms in any university,” he said. Erdogan also boasted about the employment of women at Turkish universities. “When we look at all the academic staff in universities, women employment is over 51%. This has never been seen before in the history of the Republic,” Erdogan noted.

However, the academics of Bogazici University released a report addressing problems that emerged following pro-government Professor Melih Bulu’s appointment to the university by a decision of President and ruling Justice and Development Party Chair Erdogan on 2 January 2021. The “damage assessment report” of the academics listed 40 damages done to their university, including appointment of an unelected rector to the university. The academics of Bogazici University say that Bulu’s appointment to the university is against academic freedom.
Full report on the Ahval site