We, members of International Solidarity for Academic Freedom in India (InSAF India), stand in solidarity with Boğazici University students, employees and faculty members in the struggle to protect the autonomous structure of universities in Turkey.
We strongly condemn the detentions of students and the forcible removal of protestors from the university. We are appalled by the heavy-handed response to artworks and the homophobic treatment meted out to students organising an art exhibition. We reject the anti-democratic political appointments of university administrators by emergency decree. Such unlawful dismissals and abuse of statutory decrees are a violation of rights, and turn universities into spaces of unfair staffing and contingent meritocracy. The abolition of the rector elections is part of this picture and is a clear violation of the principle of academic autonomy of the university. We oppose this violation and support the urge of Boğaziçi University Senate for implementing the principles adopted in 2012 to establish an independent, democratic and autonomous university.
We are concerned about what is happening in universities in Turkey, and note the parallels to the threats to academic freedom in India. Our struggles are interconnected. We urge the government to fulfil the conditions for academic freedom and knowledge exchange in Turkey and immediately put an end to the state repression of academics.