Three-D Issue 26: Turkish academics and media studies

This issue of Three-D invited contributions from colleagues in Turkey, which for various reasons they have been unable to submit.

Members will be aware of the changing and worrying situation in Turkey. In July twenty Turkish communication and media scholars were unable to attend the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in Leicester, because on 20 July the government of Turkey imposed a ban on international travel for all academics at Turkish universities. IAMCR retained the names of Turkish colleagues and the titles of the papers that they were scheduled to present in the online conference programme, accompanied by the statement:
This paper will not be presented because the government of Turkey has violated academic freedom by imposing a ban on foreign travel for Turkish academics.

The ban on academic travel was only one of a number of measures undertaken by the government against higher education in Turkey, which include the forced resignations of all 1,577 deans of public and private universities in the country.

MeCCSA had invited one of these scholars, a professor at the University in Ankara, to speak at our conference in Leeds in January. This invitation stands and we are still hoping that the visit will take place. MeCCSA had previously written of its concerns to the Turkish Minister of Higher Education in May (the letter appears on the MeCCSA website and opposite), though we have had no response.

It is plainly important that pressure is maintained by international academic colleagues to attempt to protect freedom of expression, movement, and indeed employment, for our colleagues in Turkey, and MeCCSA will continue to take whatever action is appropriate and possible.

Posted by Einar Thorsen