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Photograph by Maurice Flesier (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons — at Anti-coup protesters after 15 July 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt in Bağcılar, İstanbul, Turkey.]
Academic Freedom and the Turkish Turmoil: Symposium on Academic Freedom in Turkey
On August 25, 2016, an open symposium titled "Academic Freedom and the Turkish Turmoil: Symposium on Academic Freedom in Turkey" was hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Helsinki.
Within the light of the recent events in Turkey where, after the attempted military coup, more than 1500 university deans were forced to resign, 15 universities were shut down, and more than 2200 academic personnel were taken under investigation, the speakers and participants of the symposium discussed the current political, cultural and academic atmosphere. They tried to tackle questions such as "What are the underlying causes of today's problems in Turkey?", "What is likely to happen in Turkish academia in the near future?", and "What are the ways to help Turkish academics that are facing difficulties in the current situation?"
Photographs by Tuğçe Coşkun
Text by Görkem Yücesoy
Chair: Professor Hannu Nieminen, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki
13:00 Opening words: Academic freedom and autonomy, Chancellor Thomas Wilhelmsson, University of Helsinki
13:20 KEYNOTE: Quo Vadis Turkey? Professor Umut Özkırımlı, University of Lund
14:00 Turkey, EU and the narratives of emancipation: a reality check, Senior Research Fellow Toni Alaranta, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
14:30 Putschists vs. Populists, Professor Mahmut Mutman, University of Tampere
15:30-16:30 PANEL DISCUSSION
Panel discussion Chair: Research director Juhana Aunesluoma, University of Helsinki
Research Fellow Halil Gürhanlı, University of Helsinki
Professor Hannu Juusola, University of Helsinki
Research Fellow Johanna Vuorelma, University of Warwick
Faculty of Social Sciences , University of Helsinki
Network for European Studies, University of Helsinki
Scholars At Risk Network (SAR)
Umut Özkırımlı is a Professor of Political Science at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Lund University. Umut is also a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre at London School of Economics, and an Honorary Professor in Europe, Nationalism and Globalization at the Center for Modern European Studies (CEMES), University of Copenhagen; and a Senior Fellow at Istanbul Policy Center, Sabanci University. Previously, he was a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.
Toni Alaranta is a Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in the European Union Research Programme.
His expertese is on Turkey's domestic and foreign policies, especially Turkey's relations with the EU, USA and Russia; the Kurdish question; Cyprus question; Middle East great power politics; political Islam, political ideologies.
Mahmut Mutman is a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Social Research, University of Tampere. Mahmut teaches cultural and critical theory and he has widely published on orientalism, postmodernism, nationalism, and Islam. He is currently working on two books. One book is on the Islamist movements of the Middle East and the other book is on Turkish Cinema.