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Thomas von der Osten-Sacken:Kollaps türkischer Universitäten
15. Februar 2017, 16.55 Uhr:

Kollaps türkischer Universitäten

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Die Massenentlassungen an türkischen Universitäten führen in absehbarer Zeit zu einem Zusammenbruch des bsherigen akademischen Systems, so Sibel Hurtas im AI-Monitor:

The expulsions had a crippling effect on campus. The worst affected was Ankara University, which has so far lost about 100 academics who had signed the Peace Declaration. The university’s prestigious faculty of political sciences is on the verge of collapse, with 23 courses left without lecturers and 50 postgraduate students without advisers, according to Ayhan Yalcinkaya, a senior faculty member. The 158-year-old faculty is a leading educational institution, having raised a plethora of top Turkish politicians and diplomats. Beyond that, however, it is an iconic hotbed of political activism and dissidence, a tradition the AKP had so far failed to break.

Economist Ozlem Albayrak, one of the scholars the faculty lost, believes the scale of the purge at the faculty of political sciences is not a coincidence. “The AKP government was never happy with an academia out of its control, and sought to interfere in this realm ever since it came to power. First, they opened countless new universities and staffed them with Gulenists, trying to create their own universities,” Albayrak told Al-Monitor. “The deep-rooted universities did not allow for such partisan staffing and interventions. Plus, those universities were already beyond the reach of the said academic staff because of their [inadequate] qualification.”

Albayrak, who was among the signatories of the Peace Declaration, believes the coup attempt of July 15, 2016, came as “a big opportunity” for the AKP. “[The government] got the chance to interfere in the deep-rooted, real universities with which it had been able to only quarrel thus far,” she said. “Thanks to the latest legislative decrees, academics critical of the government are now largely purged. The AKP’s real problem is not with Gulenists but with dissenters.” (…)

Nilgun Toker, a philosophy scholar expelled in January, describes the purges as “an intellectual genocide.” Ibrahim Kaboglu, a top constitutional law professor swept in the latest purge, sees an irony that perhaps summarizes best the state of affairs. Referring to some imams who have launched pro-government propaganda in mosques ahead of a key constitutional referendum in April, Kaboglu said Turkey has become a country where “the imams can speak out but the professors cannot.”

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