The Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America condemns the ongoing and intensified government assault on higher education in Turkey. As a scholarly association, MESA declares its solidarity with student and faculty protestors of the recent developments at Boğaziçi University. We join our voices to the demands raised by faculty and students: academic freedom, freedom of expression, and academic and democratic norms must be respected; and the autonomy of higher education in Turkey must be protected.
In a narrow vote (8-8 with the Chief Justice casting a tie breaking vote) the Turkish Constitutional Court found that the rights of the Peace Petitioners had been violated. The decision should have precedential effect that will impact all the trials of petition signatories, bringing great relief to hundreds of Turkish academics. MESA’s joint letter of 24 July 2019 to the Constitutional Court of Turkey expressed support of the signatories’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly. MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom has written numerous letters regarding the persecution of the Peace Petition signatories.
MESA along with other academic associations in the social sciences and humanities have written to the Constitutional Court of Turkey in support of the right of scholars and academics who signed the Academics for Peace Petition. The Court will take up the issue of the Peace Petition signatories on 26 July.
MESA issues letter to John Kerry requesting intervention regarding Turkish government actions against universities and academics
MESA Board letter to John Kerry requesting intervention regarding Turkish government measures against universities and academics following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
MESA and other societies express profound concern over the apparent moves to dismantle the structure of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control.
Statement by multiple organizations expressing profound concern over the apparent moves to dismantle the structure of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control.