28.1.2013 – In a letter “[…] concerning the alarming incidents that have been reported at Marmara University’s Faculty of Communications under the leadership of its government-appointed dean, Yusuf Devran,” the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) urged Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan to take action:

“Since his appointment in July 2011, Dean Devran has reportedly used his position to single out students and faculty for surveillance, verbal and physical harassment, disciplinary proceedings and ethnic and political profiling—including the designation of students as potential PKK affiliates as a result of their involvement in activities deemed critical of the government or of the dean himself, or simply because they are ethnically Kurdish. Beyond the targeting of students and faculty, he has also used his position to cancel academic programs on the basis of objections to their substantive focus in a manner inimical to academic freedom.
The case of the events at the Faculty of Communications at Marmara University since Devran’s appointment as dean by YÖK offers the most troubling and intensive example of violations of academic freedom that are becoming unfortunately common on university campuses across the country.”

The letter was published in the independent ezine Jadaliyya. Amnesty International – USA’s Turkey Regional Action Network published a piece on the letter, which provides links to similar cases.