University personnel have not remained silent about the situation in Turkey

3.8.2016

BULLETIN 1 August 2016

MAY BE PUBLISHED IMMEDIATELY

 

 

University personnel have not remained silent about the situation in Turkey

 

The author of the editorial page of the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper (1 August) blamed Finnish university personnel for being silent about the worrying situation in Turkey. According to the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers and the Finnish Union of University Professors, researchers have expressed their opinion about the position of the university personnel in Turkey in many ways.

- Many people engaged in practical research work have been very busy with the crisis in Turkey also during the holiday season. They have had to investigate the consequences of the events with respect to practical research cooperation with Turkey, analyse the situation in Turkey and communicate it to the broader public, says Petri Koikkalainen, Chairman of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers.

- In addition to researchers’ ”everyday work”, scientific, academic and professional organisations have of course appealed to the Turkish Government with different kinds of declarations. In my ”civilian profession”, I have been formulating the recent declaration from ECPR, the European Consortium for Political Research, and many others have done the same in other organisations, Koikkalainen says.

The Finnish Union of University Professors and the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers belong to international educational organisations, the Education International (EI) and ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education). These organisations have frequently condemned the actions taken by the Turkish government.

- We support the statements of international umbrella organisations. According to the information received from the EI last Friday, the situation in Turkey is becoming even worse. I am deeply shocked by the treatment of deans and other professor colleagues and the demolishing of academic freedom, says Kaarle Hämeri, Chairman of the Finnish Union of University Professors.

Universities Finland UNIFI and the National Union of University Students in Finland SYL immediately commented on Turkey’s actions with their statements in July. 

- The chairmen of the two associations point out that, for example, it is easy to agree with SYL’s appeal according to which Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government, together with other EU Member States, should with all their authority urge the Turkish Government to give up its oppression against education and research.

- Finland could consider offering asylum to Turkish university researchers already in the country now that Erdoğan has issued “an invitation home” to them, says Koikkalainen, chairman of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Chairman Petri Koikkalainen (Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers), +358 (0)50 544 7442;
Chairman Kaarle Hämeri (Finnish Union of University Professors), +358 (0)40 568 4487;
Tarja Niemelä, General Manager (Finnish Union of University Professors), +358 (0)50 3402 725;
Eeva Rantala, General Manager (Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers), +358 (0)40 7508 284.