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Leiden University condemns the forced resignation of 1,577 university deans in Turkey

Leiden University is extremely concerned about the situation in Turkey and offers all possible support to its Turkish colleagues.

In the wake of the coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, the public sector there is under attack. The Turkish government is reported to have arrested, suspended or dismissed more than 50,000 people. These purges are directed not only at the army, but also at the Turkish judiciary, the education sector and the universities. 15,200 education staff have been suspended, and the newspaper Hurriyet reports that the Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK) has ordered the resignation of 1,577 university deans.

Leiden University is extremely concerned about the situation in Turkey and strongly condemns the forced resignation of the deans and all other colleagues. We are deeply concerned about them, and offer our support wherever that may be possible. Every day you think that this simply cannot be true. Now more than ever, the country needs freedom of thought and freedom of speech. We will do everything we can to retain the strong connections with all our Turkish partners.

The European University Association EUA, of which Leiden University is a member, has also issued a statement condemning the developments in Turkey: ‘While there has been global and unanimous support for the democratically elected government of Turkey in reaction to the military coup, the measures introduced today go in the wrong direction. More than ever Turkey needs freedom of speech and public and open debate, as advocated by its strong university sector.’ The League of European Research Universities (LERU) has strongly endorsed the EUA statement.

On behalf of the academic community of Leiden University, 
Carel Stolker 
Rector Magnificus and President of the Executive Board

Students and staff of Leiden University who have questions can contact:
Katrien van Dijk, HRM (employees)
Len Buis, Student and Educational Affairs (students)

Press can contact Inès van Arkel.

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