Islamic fundamentalism threatens Turkey's universities, the country's President Ahmet Sezer warned last week.
Speaking to students at the Middle East Technical University, he said: "You should liberate your thoughts from dogmas and superstitions."
He added that he believed universities would never capitulate to such pressure, triggering a standing ovation from students who are normally hostile to visiting political figures.
Ural Akbulut, the university's rector, said: "Fundamentalist circles are engaged in a systematic effort to block the achievements of state universities and fling dirt at academics." Higher education, which is staunchly secular, is engaged in a struggle with the pro-Islamic Government.
General Ilker Basbug, the deputy head of the Army, which is committed to secularism, said: "The Army won't be a bystander to the attacks on the unitary and secular structure of the state."