Statement on higher education in Turkey

The failed coup in Turkey was an attack on democracy and should be condemned. In the wake of the coup serious concerns have been raised about the situation in the higher education sector. The University of Oslo is a signatory of the Magna Charta Universitatum and, as such, with over 800 other universities, shares and supports a set of fundamental principles of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. The Council of the Magna Charta Observatory has now issued a statement that we fully endorse.

In this statement the Council of the Magna Charta Observatory “calls upon Turkish authorities to restore, guarantee and protect the institutional autonomy of universities and the academic freedom of academic staff and students.” The observatory states that “Open and independent academic communities are crucial to the wellbeing of a democratic society, also in times of crisis.” The Observatory calls on the authorities “to restore normal working conditions for academics and students including international co-operations so that universities can serve society fully”.

The University of Oslo supports this statement, the full text of which can be found on

As members of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and signatories of the Yerevan communique <>  in May last year, Norway and Turkey share a common goal of building a European Higher Education Area where higher education is contributing effectively to build inclusive societies, founded on democratic values and human rights. To reach this common goal, both countries have undertaken to “support and protect students and staff in exercising their right to academic freedom and ensure their representation as full partners in the governance of autonomous higher education institutions”.

We call upon the Turkish authorities to adhere to the principles set out in the Yerevan communique and in the Statement of the Magna Charta Observatory. Academic freedom is a prerequisite for democracy.

Turkey imposes travel ban on academics (khrono July 20.)

In Norwegian:

Situasjonen for demokratiet i Tyrkia er kritisk. Vi forventer at Norge bidrar (Aftenposten 2. aug.)

Tyrkia: – En politisk utrenskning av de intellektuelle (Aftenposten 26. jul)

Åpent brev til statsminister Erna Solberg - Den akademiske friheten er truet i Tyrkia 

Publisert 4. aug. 2016 14:57 - Sist endret 4. aug. 2016 15:20
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