Those academics who were removed from their positions by the Turkish government in the aftermath of the failed military coup could now find refuge in the Czech Republic. The European University Association (EUA) as well as the Czech Rectors Conference and several universities, including Masaryk University, have all voiced their support for the Turkish academics.
“We will look at ways of helping those lecturers and scholars whose academic careers have been cut short by the Turkish authorities. We are ready to work together with other Czech universities and our government to find a way to help our Turkish colleagues who have been persecuted for political reasons,” says MU Rector Mikuláš Bek.
Pavel Bělobrádek, Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, posted the following statement on his Facebook profile today: “The latest news from Turkey shows that after the failed coup, Erdogan is tightening the screws at universities. We will be in touch with our universities and academic institutions to see if some of the top academics could be offered a place at our universities, just like Masaryk University offered a place to Andrei Zubov.”
The EUA published a statement on Tuesday July 19, calling on all European governments, universities, and academics to support democracy in Turkey, including the autonomy and academic freedom of students and teachers.
The Czech Rectors Conference published its statement yesterday, seconding the EUA in its support of colleagues from Turkish universities and colleges: “We fundamentally disagree with the persecution they are currently forced to endure. We support their right to a free life and democracy and their efforts to achieve these. We call on all people of good will and morality, regardless of their faith or political opinions, to back our statement and support freedom and democracy in Turkey.”