As we have witnessed over the past week it has become abundantly clear that the actions of the Turkish Government have gone far beyond any reasonable response to the attempted coup.
We have learned from Education International’s Turkish affiliate, EGITIM-SEN, the extent to which the education sector has been unjustly punished by authorities. In addition to the 15,200 education worker suspensions, another 6,538 have since met the same fate. And on top of the dismissal of 21,000 private school teachers, more than a thousand private schools have been closed.
These actions are unacceptable.
We must express our collective voice loud and clear in protest, which is why, in addition to a letter addressed to President Erdoğan of Turkey, Education International and Public Services International (PSI) have jointly written UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Together, EI and PSI have urged the Secretary General to increase pressure on the Turkish Government to demand that it observes human rights law and international conventions of which it is a signatory to.
We once again encourage all Education International affiliates to denounce this education ‘purge’ by writing directly to the Turkish Government, the EU delegation in Turkey, the Turkish Council of Higher Education, your Turkish Embassies or your government to demand they cease and desist these unlawful actions toward education and public sector employees.
Additionally, we ask you to send a message of solidarity to our EGITIM-SEN colleagues who need our support during this trying time.
Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary (Education International)