The Political Studies Association (PSA) has today spoken out against the latest moves to undermine the independence of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control. 

In a joint statement with the US-based Middle East Studies Association and other academic organisations, the Association calls for respect for academic freedom and the autonomy of universities in Turkey, and urges Turkey’s diplomatic interlocutors to strongly advocate for the rights of Turkish scholars.

Professor Matthew Flinders, Chair of the PSA, said “The shunning of academic freedom in Turkey sets a worrying precedent and poses a severe threat to academia worldwide.”

“UK excellence in research and education relies on close collaboration with international colleagues including victims of the current crackdowns. The UK Government must pull its weight and stand up for Higher Education and freedom of expression in all dealings with Turkey.”

With some 1,600 university deans being asked to resign and up to 21,000 school teachers having had their teaching licenses cancelled, it appears that the targeting of individuals goes far beyond those who may have had connections to the attempted coup.  

The centralisation of administrative control over the country’s universities is also deeply troubling and poses severe threats to academic freedom.

The full statement, signed by the American Anthropological Association, Executive Committee of the American Comparative Literature Association, American Council of Learned Societies, American Historical Association, American Society for Environmental History, American Sociological Association, American Studies Association, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Executive Committee of the California Scholars for Academic Freedom, Economic History Association, European Association for Middle Eastern Studies, European Association of Social Anthropologists, European Network for Cinema and Media Studies, Executive Board of the European Society for Translation Studies, German Middle East Studies Association, German Studies Association, International Center for Medieval Art, Italian American Studies Association, Italian Society for Middle Eastern Studies, Latin American Studies Association, Linguistic Society of America, The Medieval Academy of America, Middle East Studies Association, Modern Language Association, National Communication Association, Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, Political Studies Association, Société Française de Littérature Générale et Compare, Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Society for Classical Studies, TESOL International Association, World History Association is available to download here.



For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Stefanie Mair

Communications and Media Relations Officer

Political Studies Association

0207 321 2545