Category Archives: Academic Freedom

Top PEN prize Ayşe Berktay

PEN America has awarded Ayşe Berktay its most prestigious award this year, the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. The award, which “honors international writers who have been persecuted or imprisoned for exercising or defending the right to freedom of expression” … Continue reading

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English PEN “welcomes” Turkish Minister of Culture

In an open letter to Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ömer Çelik, English PEN welcomes him to the 2013 London Book Fair, at which Turkey will be a “market focus.”  PEN notes with regret, however, that this celebration of … Continue reading

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Thanks to SLU

There is no question that working on Turkish human rights issues in the United States can be frustrating.   Most Americans don’t know much about the country and the Turkish diaspora in the U.S. is demographically small and tends to … Continue reading

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CCS joins Amnesty’s campaign on Freedom of Expression in Turkey

The Committee of Concerned Scientists (CCS) has joined Amnesty’s campaign for freedom of expression in Turkey.

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Poets, Scholars, and other Terrorists

A gaffe has been famously defined by Michael Kinsley as telling a truth the politician didn’t intend to admit.  Maybe that is what happened when former Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin made this infamous speech: …the work of a terrorist … Continue reading

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The Modern Kronus: Turkey and its Students

In Greek Mythology, it was Kronus who devoured his young, fearful that they might one day grow up to rebel against him.  In modern Turkey, it is the Republic itself. A few days ago, we noted the almost tragicomic news … Continue reading

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An Academic Dean and Political Enforcer

Something is rotten on the campus of Marmara University, says the Middle East Studies Association. In letter of protest to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, the Middle East Studies Association has voiced its concern that the Dean of the Faculty of … Continue reading

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Kafka in Turkish: The Pınar Selek Trial

Pınar Selek is on trial again. For a decade and a half, Pınar Selek’s life has been at the mercy of the Turkish courts.  Accused of involvement in a 1998 bombing at the Egyptian Bazaar, Selek has been acquitted three … Continue reading

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Is Darwin Being Censored Again?

Recent press accounts suggest that TÜBİTAK, the The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey, will no longer publish works on evolution. As noted in this recent blog, political meddling has threatened both freedom of expression and basic science in … Continue reading

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On METU Protests, Amnesty Demands an Investigation (updated)

The normally quiet campus of Middle East Technical University was turned into a warzone earlier this week.  On Tuesday, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the campus was met by several hundred student protesters, carrying signs and shouting slogans.  They, … Continue reading

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