Thursday, March 17, 2016

The governorate of Istanbul asks universities to apply anti-terror regulations against Academics for Peace

According to İsmail Saymaz from Radikal, the file on the legal investigation of the Academics for Peace includes an anti-terror circular signed by the Prime Minister Davutoğlu on February 16, which was sent to all public offices in Turkey. The circular warns administrators that all public officials are expected to do nothing but what their superiors ask them to do. It also requires administrators to take urgent administrative action against all officials who support terrorist organizations or "structures that pursue illegal activities under legal garb," a rather vague description. 

The governorate of Istanbul (in Turkey, provincial governors are centrally appointed, as opposed to mayors who are elected by the people) sent this circular to public universities in Istanbul, urging them to pursue administrative action against Academics for Peace. 
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A similar request was made by Yekta Saraç, the President of the Higher Education Institution (YÖK in Turkish acronym), and sent to all university presidents soon after Erdoğan called the signatories traitors back in January. This request was taken by some private universities very obediently, leading to the firing of several signatories of the Academics for Peace. Since the job security of public university employees is better protected, public universities mostly responded to this request by launching administrative investigations (for a list of administrative investigations and firings in Turkish, see the website of the Academics for Peace).

If one were to take Davutoğlu's circular as applicable to public  universities as the governorate of Istanbul seems to have assumed, the ideal university envisioned by the Turkish authorities is the exact replica of a government office at which a superior distributes tasks to the lower ranking officials, who in turn do nothing but those tasks.