Turkish university forces professor to resign over political choice

Turkish university forces professor to resign over political choice
Update: 09 July 2022 12:38
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Political science professor Sebnem Oguz has been immediately removed from her job at Baskent University because she accepted to be a member of the advisory council of HDP.

A professor of political science in Turkey's Baskent University was dismissed by the university administration immediately after she was appointed to the advisory council of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) at the party's congress on Sunday.

Prof. Dr. Sebnem Oguz said in a public statement that the Rector's Office asked her on Monday to submit her resignation before the end of the day.

She said:

"I proudly accepted to be a member of the HDP's advisory council to be able to contribute to the fight for democracy in the current critical phase of the economic-political-social crisis. This recent step has been only a natural extension of my political stance that had begun with my support for HDP on the verge of the general elections on 7 June 2015, and continued with me taking part among the signatories of the statement for peace in 2016, titled, 'We will not be accomplices in this crime'."

She continued:

"Immediately after the congress, on 4 July around noon, the Rector's Office in Baskent University asked me to submit my petition of resignation before the end of the day. The university administration has dismissed me because of a constitutional right I exercised. By the time I arrived at the campus, they had already prepared the official documents for my dismissal."

Oguz went on to say that she had informed the administration two weeks earlier that she would be taking her retirement by the end of summer, and that she had made plans accordingly to finish off work involving her academic duties, but the administration would not tolerate her presence any further, not even for another day.

"They expected me to clear my office and to sign off my electronic accounts immediately. I was forced to say in my resignation that I wished to resign for my retirement," she added.

She concluded:

"The administration released a written statement upon the resignation letter I was forced to submit that 'I resigned on will.' This is both wrong and incomplete. I was forced to resign in the context of my retirement, actually because I took part in the advisory council of a legal political party which has a parliamentary group in the National Assembly."

Oguz's page on Baskent University's Website was inaccessible on Friday.