Following the arrest of 27 academics, and a criminal investigation into more than a thousand individuals across 90 Turkish universities, the Turkish Government has taken significant steps towards restricting academic freedoms. The academics who were taken into custody have since been released, but if convicted of charges of ‘propagandising for a terrorist organisation’, or insulting the Turkish state, could face up to 5 years in prison.
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Lack of academic freedom is not limited to Turkish borders. The AKP has been dominating the Ottoman and Turkish Studies field in North America. If you are a woman without headscarf and as he or she do not attend the \local mosque, chances are you are not going to be hired in US or Canada. That includes Stanford, Yale and Columbia. In US they call this religious freedom. Which in this case comes at the expense of the secular thought. And this has been going on since 2003 with president Erdogan kids when they entered Indiana University. Surviving the Erdogans in US for those of us who are labeled as seculars, has been a long and an arduous journey.