Turkey’s original sin

A conversation with Candan Badem, a Turkish historian and participant of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) programme. Interviewer: Krzysztof Popek

KRZYSZTOF POPEK: You are the first participant of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) programme in Poland and your host is the Villa Decius Institute for Culture and the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. SAR protects scholars suffering from threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging temporary research and teaching positions. Why were you forced to leave Turkey?

CANDAN BADEM: Since September 2016, I have not been allowed to teach or even participate in symposia at Turkish universities due to a state of emergency decree of the Recep Erdoğan regime. After the attempted coup d’état in July 2016, linked to Fethullah Gülen, an Islamist preacher who was Erdoğan’s former ally, Erdoğan announced a state of emergency and purged the opposition (along with Gülen’s supporters) from their jobs in state institutions, including universities. We still do not have key information on this attempted coup since the Erdoğan regime does not want to disclose the details and prevents a parliamentary investigation.

June 23, 2021 - Candan Badem Krzysztof Popek