National academies publish joint statement on the current situation in Turkey

22 Jul 2016

The British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh have today, Friday 22 July, published the following statement on the current situation in Turkey:

The British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh deplore the attempted military coup d’état in Turkey. In keeping with the democratic principles which have been secured, we urge that the state’s responses towards individuals and offices thought to be involved be fully compliant with the rules and norms of democratic government, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights. We are particularly concerned that these be observed in relation to the academic and research community in Turkey, where our sister academies have unequivocally condemned the coup. We are disturbed to hear that in the coup’s aftermath the Turkish Government has asked over 1,500 university deans to resign, and has placed a ban on all academics travelling abroad. Freedom of expression, due process, and the free mobility of researchers provide the bedrock of the academic endeavour in a democratic society.

Update on 27 July 2016: The British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh note that in the past few days the Council of Higher Education of Turkey has indicated that the ban on Turkish academics travelling abroad, which applied to academics at state universities, has been lifted, albeit on a conditional basis. It has also issued the following statement ( about the situation regarding Deans in the Turkish higher education system. We continue to monitor the situation very closely.

Notes to editors:

1. For further information please contact Laura Norton, Press and Communications Manager at the British Academy: [email protected] / 02079695227 / 07455755952

2. The British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902. Its purpose is to inspire and support high achievement in the humanities and social sciences throughout the UK and internationally, and to promote their public value. For more information, please visit Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news

3. The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, reflected in its founding Charters of the 1660s, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

4. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is Scotland’s National Academy. It is an educational charity registered in Scotland (SC000470), operating on an independent and non-party-political basis to provide public benefit throughout Scotland. Established by Royal Charter in 1783 for ‘ the advancement of learning and useful knowledge’, RSE Fellows represent excellence in all branches of knowledge. The work of the RSE includes: awarding research funding, supporting innovation, conducting major inquiries, informing public policy, and delivering events to inspire knowledge and learning. For more information, visit





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