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Leyla Safta-Zecheria: The Authoritarian Turn Against Academics in Turkey

“Academic solidarity with vulnerabilized groups has come to be penalized by authoritarian governments through criminalization and precarization of academics,” our Research Affiliate Leyla Safta-Zecheria writes in her chapter in Opening Up the University, edited by Celine Cantat, Ian M. Cook and Prem Kumar Rajaram.

“This, in turn, has given rise to public campaigns to defend higher education promoting academic freedom, and has led to practices of transnational precarious mobility of academics and institutions and to spaces of solidarity and democratic knowledge production outside the formal structures of the academe (universities and research institutes),” she continues, adding that “this situation has reshaped academic spaces, contributing to increased pressure (economically, socially and legally) on academics who are in solidarity with non-majoritarian, marginalized groups, and especially those academics who already were in precarious positions (such as early career, non-permanent researchers, etc.).”

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