Academics who exercised their academic freedom are facing criminal charges in Turkey. Trials began in early December and are expected to continue through to April 2018.
Since July 2016, the Turkish government has dismissed thousands of academics without any individualized justification or evidence for their dismissal being provided. The authorities have justified these dismissals on the vague and generalized grounds stated in the executive decrees; that dismissed individuals were “members of, connected to, or in communication with a terrorist organization". Not just summarily dismissed from their jobs, their passports have been cancelled by the authorities, and now trials are underway. If convicted, these academics face years in jail for exercising their academic freedom.
It is important that the academic community in Canada join in international solidarity with colleagues in the Turkish higher education and research sector in the face of this unprecedented threat to academic freedom and basic civil liberties.