Government concerned about academic freedom in Turkey

Børge BrendeOslo . Foreign Minister Børge Brende : Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Foreign Minister Brende and Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen are concerned about the situation at the Turkish educational institutions after the attempted coup and the state of emergency in the country.

The two ministers pointed out that the situation is complex, especially in higher education. Four principals are suspended and 1557 deans have been asked to make their spaces available. In addition, more than 15,000 other employees in the education sector have been  suspended.

– It is important that the academic circles in Turkey are not permanently damaged by a process in which everyone is presumed guilty until proven innocent.

The international community must therefore pay close attention to what is happening in Turkey in the future, writes Brende and Røe Isaksen in response to an open letter from the rectors of the University of Oslo, Oslo and Akershus University College, University of Bergen, the University of Stavanger, NTNU University of Tromsø, Northern University, NMBU and the Theology.

Brende and Røe Isaksen add, the Council for Higher Education in Turkey has recently stated that the suspensions are temporary and that it is likely that most will return to their posts after an investigation process.

– The large number of suspensions make us concerned about academic freedom in the country. Without academic freedom is not possible to question the established truths and develop new knowledge, they wrote in their response.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today