The Turkey information point of Erasmus University Rotterdam has handled a few questions from staff and students who are concerned about the situation in that country.

Dutch universities set up information points following the publication of an NRC newspaper article in which it was stated that Turkey had ordered its academics who are in the Netherlands to return to Turkey. There are a few dozen Turkish students and researchers at Erasmus University Rotterdam. These individuals did not actually receive an order to return to Turkey.

Exchange to Turkey

Around ten EUR students were scheduled to go to a university in Istanbul this autumn on an exchange programme. Flemish universities have already put their exchange programme with Turkey on hold. According to a EUR spokesperson, whether these students will actually go depends on developments in Turkey and on the wishes of the students themselves.

On Thursday, NRC reported that perhaps an order to return had never been issued and that the earlier article was largely based on a tweet of Rector Bert van de Zwaan of Utrecht University.

Legitimate concern

Nevertheless, there is reason to be concerned about the situation of Turkish academics. Since the coup attempt in Turkey, the Turkish government has dismissed 1,577 deans from state and private universities and four rectors have been suspended. In addition, over 600 educational institutions in Turkey must close because of alleged links with Fethullah Gülen, according to Turkish president Erdogan, the mastermind of the coup attempt.