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Solidarity with staff and students of Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

As Sussex UCU we stand in solidarity with staff and students of Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, to defend academic freedoms.

A group of academics and students outside wearing robes and facemasks and holding numbers on cards

At its Emergency General Meeting on 14 January, Sussex UCU (University and College Union) Branch passed a motion supporting colleagues and students in Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. The university’s long-standing tradition of the democratic selection of a Rector (Vice Chancellor) by its academic staff was, on the 2 January 2021, trampled on by the appointment of an academic outside of the university (Professor Melih Bulu), a close affiliate of the ruling party. This arbitrary appointment by a presidential decree is a direct interference with the democratic and intellectual autonomy of the university and threatens the basic rights and freedoms of staff and students. We are particularly concerned about the police violence against and subsequent arrest of several students protesting peacefully to protect academic freedoms.

Scientific research institutions driving innovation and social development should be free from political influence. Academic freedoms are essential to the mission of universities and a central pillar of democracy. Since Boğaziçi protests started, many academics in the international community have shown solidarity with Boğaziçi. We call on the University of Sussex to join us, UCU national and several sister branches in showing solidarity for staff and students protesting this decision in defence of academic freedoms.

You can be a signatory to this public petition signed by thousands of academics in the world, in support of Boğaziçi staff and students.

You can also express solidarity for colleagues and students at this critical time by tweeting and using the hashtag: #WeDoNotAcceptWeDoNotGiveUp

In Solidarity,

Sussex UCU

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