Turkey's latest reaction to coup attempt: ban academics from traveling

In the latest move against Turkey's academics and various state institutions, the ban was reportedly enacted to keep any coup plotters involved in academia from leaving the country.
July 20, 2016, 1:10pm
Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Turkey's academics found themselves in the government's crossfire once again on Wednesday amid a continued crackdown following a failed military coup last week.

The High Board of Education placed a travel ban on academics, temporarily barring them from leaving the country, according to an official speaking on state-run broadcaster TRT.

"Universities have always been crucial for military juntas in Turkey and certain individuals are believed to be in contact with cells within the military," the official said, explaining the goal of the ban was to keep any professors involved in Friday's attempted overthrow from leaving the country.


This is just the latest effort against Turkey's academics. Also on Wednesday, Istanbul University ousted 95 professors and just one day earlier, the higher education board demanded that more than 1,500 deans resign from their university posts throughout Turkey. Meanwhile, for more than 21,000 private school teachers lost their licenses in a sweeping move from the Ministry of Education.

In the wake of the July 15 coup attempt that left at least 230 people dead, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have swiftly worked to clean house in several state institutions. Over the last several days, thousands of judges, members of the military, civil servants and police officers have been detained, suspended, or removed from their posts.

Related: All the theories on who tried to get rid of Erdogan in Turkey

There are around 360 generals in Turkey, and so far, 99 have been charged in connection with the failed coup. Responding to the attempt on Saturday, Erdogan said it was "a gift from God" since it will give the government "a reason to cleanse our army."

On Wednesday, the government is also expected to enact emergency measures.

Reuters contributed to this report.