CHP report: 4,811 academics dismissed from 112 Turkish universities by gov’t decrees

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As the Turkish government continues a purge to cleanse Turkish universities of critics, 4,811 academics have been dismissed from 112 universities across the country through decrees issued during a state of emergency declared after a failed coup last summer, a report by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said.

According to a report by CHP deputy chairs Selin Sayek Böke and Zeynep Altıok, 15 universities out of 191 in Turkey were closed by government decrees issued during the state of emergency.

The report, titled “Dismissed academics, deserted universities” and presented to CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu before its official release, said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) imposed pressure on dissenting academics and thought that runs contrary to its ideology.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 which killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, AKP government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

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 March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.

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