Academic freedom

Turkey must build on science reforms


As chair of the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science at the International Council for Science (ICSU), I was alarmed to read of the arrest in Turkey in June of Kemal Gürüz (, twice a victim of the country's apparent crackdown on academic freedom (Nature 487, 19–20; 2012). The committee monitors such cases and calls for greater protection of the human rights of individual scientists.

Gürüz, as a former president of Turkey's Council of Higher Education, has helped to raise education standards significantly in the country. He has also facilitated higher-education opportunities abroad for hundreds of Turkish students — particularly in the United States, where he was a Fulbright scholar and, later, chairman of the Turkish Fulbright Commission. His rearrest seems to relate to his attempted modernization of the education system, including provisions to educate Turkish students to become scientists.

Turkey's scientific contribution will depend on building up its research structure and continuing the reforms initiated by influential academics such as Gürüz.

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Correspondence to Bengt Gustafsson.

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Gustafsson, B. Turkey must build on science reforms. Nature 488, 281 (2012).

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