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Court ruling highlights divide in Turkish academia

Though most of Turkey's academic world is applauding the Constitutional Court ruling that charges against their pro-peace colleagues violated their freedom of expression, a vocal pro-state minority feels otherwise.
People hold scarf banners reading " Do not touch my teacher" during a demonstration outside of Istanbul's courthouse and before a trial of two academics on July 16, 2019. - Fusun Ustel was also detained on May 8, 2019 after being sentenced to 15 months in prison for having signed the peace petition in 2016 with 1,127 other Turkish academics. Tuna Altinel, an official of the French state, is being prosecuted in his country as hundreds of other academics for having signed in 2016 the "petition for peace" whic

Following 17 years of one-party dominance, round-the-clock curfews, a coup attempt, mass purges and a string of elections marred by irregularities, Turkish society has become deeply polarized. Its academic institutions are not immune to the divisive political undercurrents.

On Friday, July 26, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that legal proceedings against a group of purged academics violated their freedom of speech, drawing applause from rights advocates and condemnation from a separate group of pro-government academics.

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