Academic Autonomy and Freedom in Turkey: The Case of Boğaziçi University

Thursday, Mar 04 2021 10:00 pm

Event End Time 2021-03-04 23:30
Event Location Virtual
In Event Types: Panel Webinar

In this webinar, Boğaziçi University students and faculty will come together to speak about their ongoing struggle for academic autonomy and a democratic university in Turkey.

We aim to discuss the pressing issues of violations of academic freedom and undermining university autonomy in Turkey, which have lately been manifested through the case of the top-down appointment of a new rector to the Boğaziçi University by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The student and faculty protests against this top-down act by the President are criminalized by the government and suppressed violently: Students are subjected to brutal police violence, arrest, and detention; LGBTI+ students are singled out and targeted as “deviants” by government officials and the media; the first practice of the new rector was to close Boğaziçi LGBTI+ Student Club; faculty members and several students are targeted by the media as “criminals.”

This webinar will give voice to two students and two faculty members from Boğaziçi University to talk about the increased oppression of academic freedom and autonomy in Turkey as well as their recent mobilization in defending the right to self-government and democracy. With this event, we aim to create awareness about the contemporary state of affairs in the universities in Turkey, and add to the international solidarity with academics and students in their ongoing struggle.


Seda Altuğ, Boğaziçi University, Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Assistant Professor
Zeynep Gambetti, Boğaziçi University, Political Science and International Relations, Emeritus Professor
Berivan Tekdal, Boğaziçi University, Student
Ömer Demir, Boğaziçi University, Student


Dilan Okçuoğlu, Global Kurdish Studies, American University, Postdoctoral Fellow and Professorial Lecturer

Co-organized by:

Academics for Peace North America
Research Institute on Turkey

Co-hosted by:

Academic Solidarity Network
American University, IMES
California State University, San Bernardino, Center for the Study of Muslim & Arab Worlds
Cornell University Institute for European Studies at Einaudi Center for InternationalStudies
Harvard University Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)
New School for Social Research, Democracy Seminar
Research Institute on Turkey
Scholars At Risk
Turkey Human Rights Litigation Support Project

Registration link: