We are concerned about the latest developments in Turkey, where academic staff of universities and schools are persecuted.
According to available reports, the Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) has banned academics from travelling abroad. Purges following a failed military coup last week have affected more than 50 000 staff of state institutions in Turkey, who were presumably taken into custody, dismissed from their employment and posts. Some 15,000 staff of Turkish Ministry of Education were suspended and 21 000 schoolteachers of private institutions have lost their licences to teach. YÖK has ordered the resignation of more than 1500 deans from state and private universities in the country.
We support our colleagues and friends from Turkish universities and schools, to whom we are connected in solidarity with their difficult situation of facing the threats to their academic freedom and institutional autonomy. We strongly disagree with the persecution they are forced to endure at this time. We support their effort to secure the right for living in freedom and democracy. We support the statement of European University Association (EUA) and we call on all people of good will and manners, irrespective of their religion or political views, to support our statement and support freedom and democracy in Turkey.
Prague, 20th July 2016
prof. MUDr. Tomáš Zima, DrSc.,
President of the Czech Rectors Conference, Rector of Charles University in Prague
prof. Ing. Miroslav Ludwig, CSc.,
Rector of the University of Pardubice