22 November 2016:
Authorities have alleged that members of a movement led by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen are behind the coup attempt, and have taken a range of actions against members of the higher education community (among others) which they claim are intended to identify those parties involved, and/or to eliminate the Gülen movement’s influence within Turkish institutions.
Following the coup attempt, Turkish authorities declared a national state of emergency which remains in effect as of this report. With Decree No. 677, authorities ordered the dismissal of more than 15,500 public officials and employees – including 1,184 higher education personnel – who were identified as being affiliated with “terrorist organizations or groups involved in activities against the national security of the state.” 15 of the dismissed academic personnel were signatories to the January 2016 Academics for Peace Petition, which called on the government to end its crackdowns targeting Kurdish rebels in the southeastern part of the country. The evidentiary basis, if any, for claims that the scholars and administrative personnel were affiliated with the Gülen movement, or were involved with the coup attempt, is unclear.
According to reports, the decree further provides that the dismissed academics and administrative personnel are subject to a lifetime ban from seeking employment as civil servants; their passports will be cancelled; and they will be stripped of the right to access public housing and those living in public housing will be required to evacuate within 15 days.
Scholars at Risk is concerned about the use of mass dismissals, expulsions, travel restrictions, evictions and other deprivations of rights against academic and administrative personnel, apparently based solely on suspicion of association with a particular organization.