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Purged Turkish academics back in university as students

A protester holds a placard reading "Academy will not bow to government", on December 5, 2017 in front of Istanbul's courthouse, during a demonstration in support of a group of academics charged with terror offences for signing a petition almost two years ago calling for peace in the Kurdish-dominated southeast. Over 1,120 Turkish and also foreign academics initially signed the petition which denounced the actions of Turkey's military in the southeast where deadly clashes had erupted with outlawed Kurdish militants in 2015. The first 10 academics charged -- from Istanbul University and Galatasaray University -- went on trial on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Three Turkish academics previously purged by government decrees have passed the nationwide university entrance exam and are now able to enroll as students, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Wednesday.

Dinçer Demirkent, Canberk Gürer and Onur Can Taştan, who used to work at Ankara University until they were dismissed by decrees issued by the Turkish government, now have the right to return as students.

“We will keep fighting to make the place a real university,” Demirkent said.

Another purged academic, Cenk Yiğiter, who was previously barred from returning to Ankara University as a student based on a new requirement of “no prior dismissal from public service” added to the regulations for admission, is also getting ready to enroll after winning a legal battle against the university.

“The place is not the same. It is a university that went through a massacre. We will not be able to find many of our valuable professors,” Yiğiter said.

Turkey declared a state of emergency following a failed coup on July 15, 2016, and revoked it after two years.

During the state of emergency some 5,700 academics were dismissed by government decrees on “terror charges,” while some of them were jailed. The Turkish government also canceled the passports of dismissed academics.

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