Turkish academics flee from government crackdown - NPR
Turkish intellectuals are leaving the country in large numbers amid President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on dissent, U.S. public broadcaster NPR reported.
Following the July 2016 coup attempt, which led to the deaths of 248 people, Turkish government arrested tens of thousands of army and police officers, but also dismissed more than 100,000 people, including civil servants.
“Turkish academics say they are leaving the country because they don't feel safe in their own classrooms,” NPR said.
They are concerned about the rising religious nationalism and weakening democracy in Turkey, NPR quoted BBC’s Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen as saying.
“They are worried about students recording their lectures and releasing excerpts to the pro-government media” and then being labelled as “enemies of the state,” he said.
Turkey is going through a massive clampdown on people who challenge the government, and it leads to a growing brain drain, Lowen said.
Some 698 Turkish academics have applied to the U.S.-based organization Scholars at Risk to move abroad, thousands of people sought positions in Europe.
Turkey will face what this exodus of intellectuals will really cost in years to come, Lowen said.
Wealthy Turks are also leaving the country for Greece, Spain and Portugal via so-called Golden Visas, permanent residence given in exchange of a property purchase, report said.
Over 4,500 Jewish Turks also left Turkey and applied for citizenship in second countries, it said.