Canadian professor Clyde Forsberg, an expert on religious studies and a visiting scholar at Turkey’s Karabük University, said in a Facebook post that he was officially fired from university for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.”
“Everyone! The day I was released from jail I got a call from my university. And this time, they had an English translation of the document in question, although a poor translation to say the least, and signed by my Vice Rector and “friend” Ali Günes, informing me that I was now officially fired for “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.” It did not seem to matter that I spent the last four days in jail and was subsequently cleared of all charges. The university fired all the foreigners, regardless. My office is still locked and so I can’t take my things. I love the last line, it really speaks volumes about the place I once called my academic home: “The related person’s employment card and University identity card and all his embezzlement have to be received and the related person has to be removed from office.” And then it concludes with the following, and if you can believe it,” respectfully submitted,” Forsberg wrote on his Facebook page on Aug 18.
Police raided Professor Forsberg’s home in Karabük on Aug 14. Forsberg was reportedly interrogated by police and released. According to Samanyolu Haber, he refused to sign the copy of his interrogation which was typed only in Turkish language.
Forsberg also asked for help via social media after police raided his home.
“Everyone! Friends! The police have come to my home. They are searching the apartment and will arrest me. I was not there and am not there. I dare not disclose my location. Please phone the media and authorities to expose this outrageous nonsense. I will post again in a few hours. I’m most afraid for my family’s welfare,” Forsberg wrote on his Facebook page on Aug 14.
Forsberg earlier worked as an assistant professor at Fatih University, which the Turkish government seized over its links to the Gulen Movement.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 260 people and wounded more than thousand people. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup while the latter has repudiated such claims, condemning any intervention into democratically elected administration.
Turkey’s Councel of Higher Education (YÖK) has suspended 5,342 academicians and university personnel as part of investigations into coup attempt since July 15. The number of overall dismissals has reached up to some 80,000 when considered all state institutions.
A total of 15 universities were shut down by the government and some 15,000 people have been arrested.