Academic Freedom, Freedom of Expression and Information Under Siege
Noam Chomsky joins the campaign #RaiseYourPenForFreedom in solidarity with the incarcerated academics and journalists who stand trial on April 22.
According to the 2015 Turkey report, because of government pressure, "some contacts reported that they could not easily attend academic programs and practiced self-censorship on sensitive topics. Human rights organizations and student groups continued to criticize constraints placed on universities by law and by the actions of the Higher Education Board that limited the autonomy of universities in staffing, teaching, and research policies and practice." For example, "on April 10, the Ministry of Interior released a circular announcing that academics needed prior approval before conducting research on Syrian refugees living in the country, including surveys or fieldwork." It appears that the government is aggressively trying to control the production and circulation of knowledge.
Journalists face a similar problem. Muzaffer Kaya, one of the incarcerated academics, stated recently that April 22 will be Turkey's test with democracy. Meanwhile, as we already reported, a campaign has been initiated to support academics and journalists facing trials: #RaiseYourPenForFreedom.