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LN: Czech universities employing Turkish scholars

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Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – Czech universities like some other in Europe have offered jobs to some Turkish scholars who were dismissed after the July failed military coup in Turkey, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writers on Thursday.

In reaction to the coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the government forces launched a wave of repressions in the military, media as well as the school sector. Thousands of teachers were fired, 1577 university deans were asked to tender “preventive resignations” and dozens of mostly private schools were closed, LN says.

The first Czech university to employ a Turkish scholar is the Palacky University in Olomouc, north Moravia. Two renown experts from Ankara and Istanbul, political analyst Gokhan Bacik focused on the Middle East political systems, and historian Yasir Yilmaz, researching into the Ottoman Empire and diplomacy, lecture at the Faculty of Arts in Olomouc, LN writes.

Yilmaz, who studied in the the United States, told LN that he enjoyed staying in Olomouc. He has praised the environment, his colleagues and the town that he finds suitable for his family. He has a four-year-old daughter with his wife and their son will probably be born in the Czech Republic in the spring.

The university has selected the Turkish teachers on the basis of their CVs as well as Skype interviews and e-mail communication with them.

“It is and was crucial for us that both men are excellent experts in the fields that are not covered at Czech universities and research institutes. Besides, both Turkish colleagues had great recommendations from Western institutions. Their good English knowledge has also played an important role,” Dean Jiri Lach told the server.

Another Turkish scholar will work at the Masaryk University in Brno, LN adds.

“A Turkish senior academic with experience from abroad should start teachingworking at the Masaryk University’s Faculty of Social Studies as of January 2017. He is an expert in migration, family and ethnicity studies and research methods. He will lecture at the sociology chair,” Masaryk University spokeswoman Tereza Fojtova said.

The largest and oldest university in the country, Charles University (UK) in Prague, founded in 1348 as the first in Central and North Europe, is also considering admitting Turkish scholars who were persecuted at home, LN writes.

“Since July, Charles University has registered 18 job applications from Turkish academics,” UK spokesman Vaclav Hajek said.

It is up to particular faculties and institutes to agree with them, he added.

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