More people are migrating from Turkey to Germany according to academics in a web conference | Photo: picture-alliance / AP Photo / A. Merola
More people are migrating from Turkey to Germany according to academics in a web conference | Photo: picture-alliance / AP Photo / A. Merola

Academics during a web conference at the University of Duisburg-Essen on Wednesday said that the number of people, especially qualified academics and scientists, migrating from Turkey to Germany had risen in the last few years.

Many of those migrating from Turkey to Germany come to join their families or to ask for asylum, explained the leader of the research organization for Turkish studies and integration at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Haci-Halil Uslucan, in a report by the Catholic news agency KNA.

About 30,000 people from Turkey have applied for asylum in Germany in the last three years, according to the university press release ahead of the web conference.

The numbers appear to have been rising since the attempted coup in 2016 and the ensuing measures initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to rout out those who may have been associated with the coup, KNA added.

Academics and scientists

Some of those migrating are scientists and academics under threat, said Kader Konuk at the press conference. Konuk leads the Academy in Exile project at the University Duisburg-Essen. The Academy began in 2017 as a joint project with the Free University (Freie Universität) Berlin. It offers fellowships to academics who may be at risk in their home country. Konuk said that in the period September to March, they had received 142 applications from Turkish academics. She said the majority of academics at risk were applying from Turkey.

During the web conference, according to KNA, one of the speakers, Turkish scientist Aysuda Kölemen said that following the attempted coup in 2016, more than 6,000 academics had lost their posts at universities. Kölemen was one of them; after signing a petition calling for freedom, she was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Recently, her sentence was commuted by a higher court. Kölemen is just one of the academics living in exile in Germany. Despite the work of the academy though, she says that building an academic future for exiles in Germany is not easy.

Currently the Academy in Exile has granted 38 fellowships, 57% to women and 43% to men. The academy offers a forum and support for academics to continue their careers. One of their latest publications is entitled "Refugee Routes."

with information from KNA


 

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