SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: March 03, 2014

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Marmara University Faculty of Communication

Region & Country:Western Asia | Turkey

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In February and March of 2014, several research assistants in the Faculty of Communication at Marmara University in Turkey were reportedly subjected to professional discipline, following their participation in the Gezi protests on June 4-5, 2013. 
According to reports, the Rector of Marmara University brought disciplinary actions against the protesters, reportedly for their participation in a countrywide strike called by the Confederation of Public Workers Union during the Gezi Protests.  The Rector reportedly dismissed two research assistants from their positions, subjected another eight to promotional suspension for a period of 24 months, and imposed a salary cut upon one more. 
The research assistants have indicated that they would appeal to the Board of Higher Education (YÖK).
Scholars at Risk is concerned about disciplinary sanctions on scholars in retaliation for exercising their freedom of association and peaceful expression. Members of higher education communities have the right to engage in peaceful expression and association without fear of retaliation. Attempts to retaliate for, or otherwise limit, the peaceful exercise of these rights undermine university values and democratic society generally.