Dismissed academic not allowed to study at university as student

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Dismissed academic Cenk Yiğiter (L) expressed solidarity with fired teacher Semih Özakça, who launched a hunger strike in protest of the purge of academics and teachers.

Academic Cenk Yiğiter, who was dismissed from the Ankara University law faculty under a state of emergency decree-law, has not been allowed to study at the communication faculty of the same university despite passing the entrance examination.

Ankara University added an article to a regulation issued on Aug. 8, 2017 and said students who earned the right to register at the university shall not have been dismissed from public service.

Yiğiter, who was planning to study in the radio, television and cinema department of Ankara University, where he used to work as an academic, said even a murderer and convicted criminal would be able to benefit from the fundamental right to an education, from which he is barred due to being dismissed under a government decree on Jan. 6, 2017.

“This has to do with the right to an education. Think of a murderer or a criminal who did something against humanity. Even if they are convicted of a crime, they can be a student at Ankara University. They can come and register if they pass the exam. We had students like that. A fundamental right enjoyed by a murderer cannot be exercised by those of us who have been dismissed by a KHK [government decree]. Then I am no longer a human being.”

“A regulation that can only be approved by Parliament has been made against me by Rector Erkan İbiş, which means a bureaucrat has seized the powers of legislation,” said Yiğiter.

According to a BBC Turkish report, a total of 23,427 academics have been affected by a state of emergency that was declared following a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The report said at least 23,427 academics either lost their jobs at universities when their contracts were terminated or were dismissed from their positions, or the universities where they worked were closed down by the government after Sept. 1, 2016.

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