‘MTSU On the Record’ explores political repression...

‘MTSU On the Record’ explores political repression of academia in Turkey

The authoritarian regime in power in Turkey and its impact on academic freedom were the topic of discussion on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

MTSU philosophy professor Dr. Mary Magada-Ward

Dr. Mary Magada-Ward

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Mary Magada-Ward, chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, first aired Feb. 16 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

You can listen to their conversation via the Soundcloud link above.

Along with more than 1,400 U.S. scholars and more than 200 international scholars, Magada-Ward and visiting faculty fellow Aydogan Kars signed a letter opposing attacks on academics in Turkey.

The issue arose over Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of Melih Bulu, an unqualified political crony, as rector of Bogazici University in Istanbul.

Students have demonstrated against this move, calling the process undemocratic and calling on Bulu to resign. Erdogan has labeled the peaceful protesters as “terrorists” and said they lack Turkey’s “national and spiritual values.”

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies logoThe government has detained hundreds of demonstrators in Istanbul and Ankara, the nation’s capital.

In addition, Erdogan has ordered the creation of two new schools at Bogazici University, one of law and one of communications, to which he could fill about 100 faculty slots with political hacks indebted to him.

The opening of the new schools occurred overnight with no consultation with university faculty.

“Especially given the state of the world, we need people to be thinking hard about the problems we’re facing without fear of losing their job(s) or being thrown in jail or being blackballed or being fearful about raising questions,” Magada-Ward said.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.