A total of 23 academics and public servants have been fired from their jobs at Turkey’s Giresun University over their alleged links to the Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt last year.
According to the university’s dean, Cevdet Coşkun, after the coup attempt, the university management formed a committee tasked with “determning those who have links to the group.”
“Since the attempt, 23 have been dismissed. And we are still working on another 30 names,” the dean told the Turkish media.
Since the failed attempt in July 2016, a total of 5,717 academics at 117 universities were dismissed from their jobs due to government decrees issued under a state of emergency. Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) said the universities were responsible for the dismissal of the academics.
According to a BBC Turkish report in July, 23,427 academics have been affected by the state of emergency that was declared following the failed coup attempt in 2016.
The report said at least 23,427 academics either lost their jobs at universities when their contracts were terminated or were dismissed from their positions, or the universities where they worked were closed down by the government after Sept. 1, 2016.
Critics say the collective dismissal of academics and collective verdicts without specifying individual crimes violates the principle of “the individuality of crime and punishment in law.”
Emergency rule was declared for three months on July 21, 2016 and became effective with a government decree issued on July 23, 2016. With the first decree, No. 667, 15 universities were closed down on the grounds that they were linked to the Gülen group, accused by the Turkish government of leading the failed coup, a claim the movement denies.
There is no information about the number of administrative staff members working at these universities who were affected, but 2,808 academics were left unemployed and 65,000 students had to seek new universities according to figures from Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK).
Another state decree in September targeted 15,000 research assistants for their alleged links to the Gülen movement. They were part of an Assistant Professor Training Program (ÖYP) that was launched in 2010 to meet the need for academics in Turkey.