Former Turkish university rector jailed over 'terrorist ties'

Head of private university that closed in July 2016 is latest academic targeted in post-coup crackdown

January 4, 2018
Map of Turkey
Source: iStock

The former rector of a Turkish university has been jailed for eight years over alleged ties to a terrorist organisation.

Abdulkadir Şengün, who led Turgut Özal University, a private university in Ankara that is named after a former Turkish president, was sentenced on 21 December, according to Turkey Purge, a website that details the crackdown on those accused of links to the exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, following the failed coup of July 2016.

Professor Şengün, who led the university from 2011 until its closure immediately after the attempt to oust Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was found guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, the site said.

The dentistry professor is the latest academic to be targeted in action since the July 2016 coup that has seen more than 5,800 academics and more than 150,000 public servants sacked over the past 17 months, said Turkey Purge.

Arrest warrants were issued for 171 academics and former personnel of Istanbul’s former Fatih University – one of 15 private universities closed in the immediate aftermath of the failed coup – on 27 December, Turkey Purge also said.

Detention warrants were issued for 23 academics and other staff members of Hacettepe University, in Ankara, on 28 December, it added.

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