Donnerstag, 1. Juni 2017

Academic freedom in Turkey under pressure: Putting solidarity into practice!

Workshop and Panel Discussion – Wednesday June 7 – University of Kassel

The relationship between academia and the government has never been more than lukewarm in Turkey. Academic freedom drastically deteriorated in the post-1980 military coup period. However, this oppression has gained a new dimension with the islamist/conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) government that has been ruling the country for more than 13 years. In recent months, academics have faced accusations of “terror propaganda” after signing a peace petition that criticized military actions in the heavily Kurdish populated southeastern part of Turkey. The petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime” was signed by more than 1000 academics from 90 Turkish universities as well as foreign intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler. It was alleged that the academics were part of a “fifth column” and they were charged with “terrorist propaganda.” Some have been detained and most were dismissed from their universities.

In this workshop, our aim is to explore tangible solutions for the colleagues who have lost their job. We will be addressing the following questions: What can German universities do? In more concrete terms, what can the University of Kassel do? What should be the role of trade unions, their confederations, and the foundations? What are the options available given the high number of “refugee academics”? The workshop will host relevant stakeholders, including trade unions, foundations, academics from Turkey and Germany, as well as university administrative staff. We’ll endeavour to go beyond a simple exchange and build concrete bridges of solidarity.

The evening event will focus on testimonials of our turkish colleagues on the current situation in Turkey and their strategies and struggles for building networks of alternative political university education.


Wednesday June 7

2 – 5 pm – Workshop

Putting solidarity into practice! Building strategies to support persecuted academics.

The workshop will be held in English. Exchange of stragtegies in order to build international (trade union) solidarity in political conflicts and aiming at moving from a symbolic level to concrete action.

Where? Raum 0105/0106 im ASL 1, Universitätsplatz 9

6 – 8 pm – Panel Discussion

Occupational bans and alternative strategies for political university education in Turkey: Testimonials of turkish colleagues

This event will be held in English, translation to German will be provided.
Welcome address: Andreas Keller, Vice-President of ETUCE/Education International and Vice-Chair of Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW); General Students' Committee (AStA)

Panel discussion with

Dr. Latife Akyüz (Goethe University Frankfurt/Academics for Peace)
Dr. Mehmet Ruhi Demiray (University of Siegen/ Kocaeli Academy for Solidarity)
Dr. Mehmet Rauf Kesici (University of Duisburg-Essen/Kocaeli Academy for Solidarity)

Where? Hörsaal 3, Campus Center, Moritzstr. 18, Kassel

Hosted by: Regionalverband Hochschule und Forschung der GEW Nordhessen

Supported by: AStA Uni Kassel; AG Berufsverbote Kassel der GEW Hessen; DGB Jugend Nordhessen; Infobrief Türkei; Initiative zur Solidarität mit den türkischen Akademiker*innen Kassel; International Center for Development and Decent Work at the University of Kassel (ICDD)