In Pursuit of an Alternative Academy: The Case of Kocaeli Academy for Solidarity (Non-Peer-Reviewed Reflection Article)
AbstractAfter declaring a state of emergency on 20 July, 2016 as a response to the failed coup attempt of 15 July, 2016, the Turkish government launched a nation-wide academic purge, especially targeting the Academics for Peace. This group of academics signed a peace petition in January 2016 to address civilian deaths in the South-Eastern part of the country and to urge the government to take responsibility and restart the peace process. Having the largest number of peace petitioners among Turkey’s provincial universities, Kocaeli University was the first to dismiss all 19 of the peace academics from their positions on 1 September, 2016. Already active in defending the universal values of academia in other venues, these dismissed peace academics founded the Kocaeli Academy of Solidarity in pursuit of an alternative academy that aims to bring together university students, NGO members and ordinary citizens in the city in a cooperative understanding of education and research. After weekly seminars over eight months, a summer school of five days, and with applications in for funding its projects, particularly amongst others the School of Life, Kocaeli Academy for Solidarity has a strong determination to demonstrate a new democratic model of education and research.
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