News & AnalysisTurkey

Prominent Turkish Academic Who Advocated Secular Reforms Arrested

Science  06 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6090, pp. 23
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6090.23

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Academics and scientists in Turkey say that former head of Turkey's Council of Higher Education Kemal Gürüz—a fierce advocate of insulating Turkish education from Islamist influence—has been targeted as part of an ongoing campaign by Turkey's conservative government, which has imprisoned hundreds of progressive military officials, scholars, and journalists. Many are now being tried on charges of having worked for an allegedly terrorist organization called Ergenekon that the government claims is conspiring to destabilize the country. Gürüz's arrest last week pertains to an inquiry into what's known as the "postmodern coup" of 1997. That year, the military forced a conservative regime to limit religious influence in public life and a few months later pushed the regime out of office.