Turkish Government Crackdown Forces Intellectuals to Flee


Global News Blog Summary: Turkish officials are reacting angrily to a recent guilty verdict in a trial in New York. The case, concerning Turkish banker Hakan Atilla, has turned up testimony alleging high-level corruption within the Turkish government, including bribery which allowed Turks to violate U.S.-imposed sanctions on business with Iran. This reaction, in conjunction with the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government in July 2016, is leading to a mass exodus of Turkish intellectual figures. In the aftermath of the coup, the Turkish government fired more than 100,000 people from their jobs, including civil servants, university professors, and soldiers. Decreased governmental transparency and new information has the country’s intellectual and professional class concerned with Erdogan’s shifting emphasis on religious nationalism and deemphasis on democracy. Though there are no national statistics on recent migration, 698 academics have applied to the U.S.-based organization Scholars at Risk in order to be moved abroad.