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Academic Freedom in Turkey: A Historical Perspective in Comparison to International Policies and Practices

Faculty and Student Research in Practicing Academic Freedom

ISBN: 978-1-83982-701-3, eISBN: 978-1-83982-700-6

ISSN: 2055-3641

Publication date: 22 October 2020

Abstract

Academic freedom is of central importance in all kinds of activities of academics and students. Considering this, many reforms were made to secure and improve academic freedom in Turkey. The most important reforms and changes were made in 1933, 1946, 1960, 1973 and 1981, and they all coincided with significant social and political periods. But, the history of Turkey’s academic freedom is not bright. The past university policies pertaining to academic freedom had occasionally positive, but often restrictive, results in expanding academic freedom. Despite policies and reforms, illegal dismissals of faculty members, disciplinary inspections and penalties were experienced. Moreover, the restrictions also affected freedom of expression in the forms of censorship and self-censorship; freedom to learn, teach and conduct researches had limitations. On the other hand, the removal of headscarf ban and the abolishment of coefficient policy which disadvantaged some students in the university entrance examinations can be given as examples of improvement in academic freedom of students, both of which improved students’ access to higher education. When compared with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, the rankings and various indicators present Turkey at lower end in terms of academic freedom. This shows that further steps are to be taken to improve academic freedom in Turkey.

Keywords

Citation

Su, A. and Karadağ, E. (2020), "Academic Freedom in Turkey: A Historical Perspective in Comparison to International Policies and Practices", Sengupta, E. and Blessinger, P. (Ed.) Faculty and Student Research in Practicing Academic Freedom (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 31), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 33-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000031014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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