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Unable to travel to Leipzig for her Leibniz Professorship in 2018 because authorities refused her application for a passport, Turkish scientist and İştar Gözaydın is now finally free to travel and gives a talk on the topic of academic freedom.

Prof. Gözaydın was appointed as Leibniz Professor at Leipzig University in the spring term of 2018. As Turkish authorities had refused her application for a passport she held her inauguration lecture via skype. Photo: Research Academy Leipzig

Prof. Gözaydın was appointed as Leibniz Professor at Leipzig University in the spring term of 2018. As Turkish authorities had refused her application for a passport she held her inauguration lecture via skype. Photo:...

How does academic freedom affect conduct?

“Believing that you have academic freedom can lead you to take chances in your learning, your teaching, your research, your talks and publications, your public remarks, and so on, where taking chances can mean exploring or communicating controversial views, or being at liberty to wander and fail in your scholarship.”

This talk tries to combine some political history in Turkey, the issue of human rights with a focus on academic freedom, and a personal story to give an example of what might happen if one does academic work in an environment that does not completely agree with these ideas.

The academic work of İştar Gözaydın, professor of Law and Politics, focuses on the institutional relationship between religion and politics in Turkey. As a critical observer, she also contributes to political debates in Turkey, in particular with regard to human rights issues, the rule of law and the legal and political equality of disadvantaged population groups. İştar Gözaydın is co-founder of the Turkish branch of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, a Europe-wide operating human rights NGO, and won the Human Rights Prize by the University of Oslo in 2017.

In December 2016, İştar Gözaydın was arrested on suspicion of being a member of a terrorist group. She was held in custody until April 2017 and was finally acquitted in March 2018. Prof. Gözaydın was appointed as Leibniz Professor at Leipzig University in the spring term of 2018. However, she was unable to travel at the time as the Turkish authorities had refused her application for a passport. Now, in December 2019, she is finally free to travel and is going to come to Leipzig to talk on the topic of academic freedom.

All those interested are cordially welcome to the talk and the following reception.

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