For those outside Turkey genuinely committed to academic freedom, the purge of Turkish universities raises the question of whether universities and academic associations abroad should now call for a boycott of Turkey’s higher education sector. Inevitably, it also raises the awkward issue of the double standard that reigns in western universities, whereby Israeli universities and academics are frequently the targets of a boycott, in shameful contrast to the stony silence that has thus far distinguished the response of western academics to Erdoğan’s assault.
Indeed, as William Jacobson pointed out in a piece for the blog Legal Insurrection, it’s not as if western academics had no warning that a purge was on the cards. Commented Jacobson:
Unlike Israel, where academics are some of the most vocal critics of the government and its policies, the Turkish government repression of academia prior to the recent coup attempt had made Turkish universities increasingly functionaries of state policies, as Times Higher Educationreported in April…
El doble rasero, siempre el doble rasero. Ha habido múltiples campañas para boicotear a Israel. Sin embargo, la represión sin precedentes llevada a cabo por Erdogan (1,2,3,4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9) no ha tenido consecuencias, más que alguna tímida crítica que, desde luego, es de una nimiedad asombrosa, si lo comparamos con lo que hubiera pasado si lo hubiera hecho cualquier país occidental.