Hundreds of academics, filmmakers pen support letter for sacked Boğaziçi academic
Hundreds of academics and filmmakers from around the world have signed an open letter to Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University and Turkey’s top higher education body over the dismissal of academic and filmmaker Can Candan.
Referring to Candan as a "vocal advocate for academic freedom’’ in Turkey, some 300 signatories of the letter said that internationally- acclaimed documentary filmmaker had been unfairly dismissed by Boğaziçi’s new acting rector.
Candan, a key figure in months-long protests at Boğaziçi over the appointment of a government loyalist rector, was dismissed by the university’s newly-appointed acting rector on July 15 following a disciplinary investigation.
Candan had backed students in their protest that began in January, over the appointment of Melih Bulu, who was also removed from his post by presidential decree on July 15.
"The international community of academics, filmmakers, artists and cultural arts workers stand in solidarity with Can Candan and denounce this overtly hostile gesture to remove this valued member of the academic and filmmaking community from his post," the signatories said.
Candan was a vocal supporter of Bogaziçi students during the months-long protests that saw hundreds of students detained, with several placed under house arrest. Turkish courts annulled some students' passports, preventing them from travelling on exchange trips abroad. Others lost bursaries, putting them in severe financial difficulties.