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HDP co-chair Temelli promises to reinstate purged academics

PEOPLE’S Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Sezai Temelli promised today that the party would reinstate thousands of academics purged from their posts in Turkish universities following next week’s election.

Mr Temelli, himself a purged academic, said outside his former Istanbul University that, “today after 35 years of labour, my friends and I will not be able to enter our faculty should we want to visit it. We were dismissed by statutory decree.”

At least 8,000 academics are believed to have been purged from their posts since a failed coup in summer 2016, most for signing a petition urging a resumption of peace talks over the so-called Kurdish question.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has branded them “terrorists.”

Mr Temelli said the HDP would lift the state of emergency brought in after the coup attempt and allow all the “victims” of the purges to return to work.

“Universities are ours. Stepping up the universities’ autonomous democratic struggle is to contribute to Turkey’s struggle for democracy,” he said.

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