MESA - Middle East Studies Association


  • Resources (downloadable)

Letter explaining circumstances in Turkey

Information for Turkish scholars seeking to apply for academic and related jobs abroad

Advice for institutions seeking to host a scholar

  • CAF letters

December 21, 2016 Arrest and detention of Professor İştar Gözaydın in connection with an anti-terrorism probe

December 14, 2016 measures taken against universities, faculty and students allegedly tied to the Gülen movement

November 7, 2016 October 29th Emergency Decrees (KHK 675, 676), which resulted in the dismissals of 1276 academics at 74 public universities

October 10, 2016
The management corruption at Mardin Artuklu University

September 6, 2016
September 1st Emergency Decree (KHK 672), which resulted in the dismissals of 2346 academics at 94 public universities in Turkey from their positions

March 17, 2016 Escalation in government actions against Peace Petition signatories and their supporters

February 22, 2016 gravity and magnitude of the pattern of harassment, intimidation, prosecution and repression

January 14, 2016 Turkish Higher Education Council's condemnation of a peace petition

Summary of Initiatives on Turkey

March 30, 2017 - Report of new initiatives to help imperiled Turkish scholars and a summary of MESA’s activities through the Board and the MENA wing of the Committee on Academic Freedom in support of academic freedom in Turkey. The report can be viewed here.

Letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry Ahead of His Visit to Turkey

August 19, 2016 - MESA Board of Directors expressed concern about measures taken against Turkish universities and academics in the aftermath of the July 15 attempted coup. The letter can be viewed here.

Statement on Crisis to Higher Education and Academic Freedom in Turkey

July 21, 2016 — MESA, along with other scholarly societies, issued a statement regarding the threats to higher education and academic freedom in Turkey following the attemped coup of July 15-16. The statement can be viewed here.

Urgent Call for Action on Behalf of Turkish Colleagues

January 15, 2016 — The Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) calls on MESA members to respond to an unprecedented assault on academics and academic freedom in Turkey. Last week a group of 1128 Turkish scholars (together with over 355 academics outside of Turkey) signed a petition for peace in the Kurdish regions of the country.  In the wake of its publication, President Erdoǧan criticized it in a public address, and called the signatories “traitors”.  Within a day of this speech several universities initiated punitive measures against faculty who had signed the “Peace Petition,” and several signatories, at both public and private universities, have reportedly been removed from their positions solely for signing the petition. On 14 January, the Istanbul Public Prosecution Office launched a criminal investigation of ALL the signatories of this petition under Article 301 of the Penal Code and Article 7 of the Anti-terror Law alleging “terrorist organization propaganda.”  Since then arrests, threats of physical violence and death, as well as other serious forms of intimidation against the signers have escalated dramatically. MESA’s CAF will continue monitoring and reporting on the situation and we call on our members to offer any form of support possible to colleagues who have come under attack as part of this campaign in Turkey. Please distribute this message through your networks and ask others to assist with getting the word out. 

See CAF’s Letter to Turkish Prime Minister concerning Turkish Higher Education Council's condemnation of a peace petition signed by academics as "terrorist propaganda" triggering a series of disciplinary investigations at various universities, and initiation of criminal investigations, against signatory faculty members.

General information
New Coverage
A sampling from various news sites (MESA is not affiliated with any of these sites)

From Times Higher Education:

From Hurrieyet Daily News:

From InsideHigher Ed:

From Today’s Zaman:

From The Guardian

From Bianet

From The New York Times

Statements, Letters, and Panels by other Academic Societies and Organizations


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