Calls for French boycott of Turkish research council

Scientific council of France's CNRS recommends severing links over journal edict

May 5, 2017
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France's National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) is considering severing links with its Turkish counterpart over attempts to politically persecute Turkish scientists.

The organisation's scientific council voted unanimously to recommend that the body, which has a €3.3 billion (£2.8 billion) annual budget and labs across France, reconsider its ties to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).

Persecution of academics in Turkey has stepped up since last year's failed coup, with nearly 1,600 deans forced to resign temporarily and more than 2,000 academics dismissed due to alleged links to the plot, according to a report by the organisation Scholars at Risk.

The decision by the CNRS's scientific council cites a circular sent by TÜBİTAK late last month to scientific journals in Turkey, which appeared to warn them not to work with scientists who had been dismissed from their positions.

This amounts to "political cleansing", according to the CNRS council.

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