Turkey’s brain drain: Purges and fear are driving Turkish scholars out of the country

By William Armstrong

The new academic year opened under dark clouds for many scholars in Turkey. The crackdown in the aftermath of July’s attempted military coup has worsened the sense of suffocation. The country now faces the real danger of a “brain drain” as many educated citizens look for a route out.

Over 5,300 academics have been suspended and over 2,300 have been fired for alleged links to the July 15 coup attempt, while 15 private universities linked to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been closed down. The government says the measures target the Gülenists, a Turkish-designated a terrorist organization accused of orchestrating the coup attempt, but there are rising fears that the dragnet is snaring other opposition voices in a broader witch hunt.

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English PEN – Cat Lucas – Sep 16, 6:36 AM

Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan were detained on Saturday 10 September. Their detention has been extended for a further five days. The brothers have been accused of giving ‘subliminal messages’ to rally coup supporters in a television broadcast

English PEN – Sep 12, 4:28 AM

We the undersigned call upon democrats throughout the world, as well as those who care about the future of Turkey and the region in which it exerts a leading role, to protest the vendetta the government is waging against its brightest thinkers and

RSF – Sep 19, 6:01 AM

Two months after responding to a coup attempt by declaring a state of emergency, the Turkish government continues to target journalists, pluralism and freedom of information. RSF is today publishing a report that details the many abuses and urges

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