Assistant dean at Marmara University resigns amid purge

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Professor Ahmet Demirel

An assistant dean at İstanbul’s Marmara University, Professor Ahmet Demirel, resigned on Monday following the latest purge of 330 academics at Turkish universities last week.
The assistant dean of the faculty of political science, Professor Demirel said in a statement that he had quit all administrative posts at Marmara University.

Earlier on Monday, the EU Commission reacted to the dismissal of more than 300 academics from Turkish universities by a government decree issued on Feb. 7, describing the move as “worrying.”

It is estimated that more than 20,000 academics have been purged from universities since a failed coup attempt on July 15. They were either expelled from universities, or the universities they used to work for were closed down due to their ties to the faith-based Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. The movement denies the accusations.

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.

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