Two academics expelled from Turkish university for joining Gezi protests

In the latest fallout of last summer’s Gezi protests against the government’s redevelopment plan for a park in central İstanbul, two academics were expelled from İstanbul’s Marmara University Faculty of Communication on Tuesday for joining the protests in June.

The university administration allegedly launched an investigation into students and academics who were believed to have taken part in the Gezi Park protests. Upon the conclusion of the administrative inquiry into claims that two academics, Figen Algül and Can Özbaşaran, did not attend lectures as they had complied with a call to strike issued by the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) in early June, the administration ruled to expel them.

As part of the investigation, eight more academics face a two-year promotion ban for their participation in the Gezi Park protests.

A number of university students have come out in protest of what they call the arbitrary practices of Faculty of Communication Dean Yusuf Devran.

The reasoned explanation for the expulsion accuses the two academics of attempting to destroy the fundamental values of the republic, and attending violent and separatist protests detrimental to national interests and security through participation in the protests.

The academics have the right to appeal the decision at the Higher Education Board (YÖK), a semi-autonomous state body that regulates the affairs of universities, including disciplinary inquiries involving university personnel. The final verdict will be delivered by YÖK President Gökhan Çetinsaya.

 

5 March 2014 /İSTANBUL, TODAY’S ZAMAN

 

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