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Presentation of Yasemin Yılmaz, an academic at City University, to be held in Turkish Political Economic Society (TPES) Interdisciplinary Workshop at Koç University has been cancelled by the organizers on the ground that it was “politically sensitive”.
Yılmaz was disinvited from presenting at a workshop on "Turkey and Latin America in Comparative Perspective" to be held at Koc University on July 20-21.
Yılmaz was arguing in her paper that where elites support the political/economic project of the government, they will yield free speech.
“Things will not improve through self-censorship in Turkey”
Yılmaz announced the cancellation of her presentation via Facebook:
“I was just disinvited from presenting at a workshop on "Turkey and Latin America in Comparative Perspective" to be held at Koc University, July 20-21. Despite having accepted my paper almost two months ago, organizers informed me today that my paper is too "politically sensitive", "given the potential consequences involved in the current extreme conditions for academic work in Turkey" (read the full text if you can, it's full of gems).
“Ironically, my paper deals with freedom of press in Turkey and Venezuela, arguing that where elites support the political/economic project of the government, they will yield free speech.
First off, I would like to thank the organizers for validating my academic argument in a way that would have taken me a few drafts, at least. While the academic environment in Turkey is without a doubt extreme, it will definitely not improve through self-censorship and academics who are too afraid to hold a simple discussion behind university doors.
“To reshape conferences based on fears and anticipation of repercussions - based only on paper titles and abstracts no less - is a sure way to preserve the extremeness of the status quo”. (TP/NV/TK)