From Past to Present Academic Freedom in Turkey

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Series Details No.15, May 2015
Publication Date May 2015
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This study offers a chronological account of the historical development of academic freedom in the world and in Turkey.

Academic freedom in Turkey, as in the rest of the world, has made the agenda through its restrictions rather than by virtue of its expansion. Most often academic freedom has been reduced to university autonomy and elections of university presidents. Important issues have been neglected as discussions focus on political conflicts rather than on academic freedom. Although the violations of academic freedom in the recent past are now behind us, many legal and practical issues causing restriction of academic freedom persist.

In order for Turkish universities to deservedly claim their place in the world of the 21st century, all parties involved in the academic community must enjoy freedom of learning, teaching, and research without pressure or the need for self-censorship. Turkey’s highest priority policy objective must be the creation of university campuses where sustainable academic freedom flourishes and facilitates effective and productive scientific research. This will contribute to elevating Turkish universities in world university ranking and, therefore, help Turkey achieve its national achievement goals by the year 2023.

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