Academic workshop at Koç University cancelled due to ‘lack of communication’

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Turkey’s Koç University has cancelled an academic workshop on Turkey and Latin America on grounds of a “lack of communication,” the Diken news website reported on Friday.

The workshop organizers, the Turkish Political Economy Society (TPES), previously rejected the presentation of two academic papers, finding them politically too sensitive for the current extreme conditions in Turkey.

Yasemin Yılmaz was invited to present her paper at the workshop on July 20-21 at Koç University.

The organizers of the workshop then sent her an email saying the paper was “politically too sensitive … given the potential consequences involved in the current extreme conditions for academic work in Turkey.”

Yılmaz criticized the decision as a good example of self-censorship and academic cowardice. After Yılmaz, another paper by academic Orçun Selçuk was rejected on the same grounds.

TPES issued a statement and said that not all committee members had been informed about the rejection of papers. In the statement it defined the incidents as “wrong” and apologized to the workshop participants and academics whose papers had been rejected, explaining the cause of the cancellation as a lack of communication between the TPES committee members.

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