Protests spreading in Turkey for dismissed academics

The dismissal of 330 academics by the latest decree law in Turkey has been protested by opposition forces all around the country.

A decree law ordering the dismissal of 4,464 public servants was issued by the Turkish government on 7 February; the dismissals included 330 academics. Many of the academics and their students organised a demonstration at Ankara University where the police did not let them enter the university. This incident caused uproar against the government.

Protests have spread to several other universities who are showing solidarity with the dismissed academics, with most classes being cancelled.

At Ankara University there are now just four lecturers left in the whole of the faculty of language, history and geography. The students of the department hung a banner in front of the faculty building in protest poking fun at the country’s president.

In Marmara University, both lecturers and students came together and made a statement to the press criticising the dismissals. After the announcement, some ultra-nationalist groups attacked the protesting crowd. Six people were taken into police custody.

In Istanbul University, Uludag University, Anadolu University, Suleyman Demirel University, Dokuz Eylul University, Kocaeli University and several others, press statements were released. Students from the department of theatre said in a statement, “The dismissed academics have given us love, peace and endeavour for theatre. Our dismissed academics taught us that ‘theatre is an aesthetic synonym for resistance on stage. We stand with our lecturers, we definitely don’t accept the dismissals.”

The mainstream media in Turkey has been criticised for largely remaining silent about the demonstrations.