Central European University (CEU) is deeply concerned about the erosion of academic freedom and the detention of peaceful student protestors at Bosphorus University (Boğaziçi Üniversitesi), one of Turkey's leading universities.
For the first time since the military rule of the early 1980s, an individual from outside the university was appointed to be the Rector of the university in January 2021. Historically, Bosphorus elects its Rector from among its own faculty and administration. As the faculty and student body have made clear, this appointment represents a case of the government reducing academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Moreover, it contravenes the decision taken by the Bosphorus University Senate in 2012 that affirms the need for freedom from political influence in order to conduct meaningful academic work.
In response to the appointment, students and faculty have protested since early January, and, in recent days and weeks dozens of students have been detained by the police. CEU is deeply concerned about attempts to silence student protests and expresses solidarity with the efforts to defend academic freedom as well as the freedom of expression on the Bosphorus campus.
CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff