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Court issues injunction against academic’s dismissal from Boğaziçi University

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A regional administrative court has issued an injunction against the July 2021 firing from İstanbul’s Boğaziçi University of Can Candan, who had been a lecturer in Western languages and literature at the university since 2007, local media reported on Friday.

A vocal supporter of the resistance against appointed rectors at Boğaziçi, Candan was fired by Prof. Dr. Naci İnci, the former vice rector of the university who was appointed acting rector after the dismissal of Melih Bulu, whose appointment by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in early January sparked more than six months of protests.

According to local media reports, İnci dismissed Candan following his appointment as acting rector due to an administrative investigation into the academic over a tweet in which he quoted criticism of İnci by Erkan Baş, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP).

İnci had cited “Candan’s lack of attention to classes” and his “failure to fulfill the required conditions as stated in the law” as the reasons for his dismissal.

Candan demanded an injunction and annulment of his dismissal by İnci in a lawsuit that also includes the left-wing Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen), of which Candan is a member, as a complainant.

The academic on Thursday announced in a series of tweets that a regional administrative court had issued an injunction against his dismissal in an interim decision and that he would be back at work until the final judgment was rendered.

Candan said he was informed about the decision on the 227th day of his “unlawful” dismissal “over baseless allegations” from Boğaziçi, where he had worked for 14 years, and thanked his lawyers, Eğitim-Sen and elements of Boğaziçi University for supporting him.

A prolonged series of protests broke out at Boğaziçi University after Erdoğan appointed Bulu, a founding member of the ruling AKP’s Sarıyer district branch and former deputy chairman of the AKP’s İstanbul provincial chapter, as rector in January 2021.

Shortly after Bulu’s dismissal by a presidential decree in July 2021, the university community demanded that a democratic election be held at the university to elect a new rector, adding that they would not accept the appointment of a rector to replace Bulu, either from within or without the university, since they oppose the appointment of rectors by Erdoğan.

However, Erdoğan on Aug. 20 appointed İnci, a former deputy to Bulu, as the new rector, despite a 95 percent disapproval rating he received in polls held among the university community to determine possible rector candidates, again prompting outrage among academics and students.

University staff members have been standing with their backs turned to the rectorate building every day in protest of the presidentially appointed rectors.

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