Turkish education board bans admissions to French departments
Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) said new students will not be admitted to the French language and literature and French language teaching departments at Turkish universities until further notice, daily Hürriyet reported on May 10.
The departments in the ruling, which do not have any students at the moment, will remain empty according to the decision following a row between Ankara and Paris regarding a petition signed by 300 prominent French figures demanding the removal of particular verses from the Quran.
However, the report said the decision was taken due to “reciprocity” and “graduate-employment dynamics,” as there are also no Turkish language faculties in France.
There are currently 16 French departments at the university level in Turkey—all of which are and will remain empty—and 19 university level French departments functioning with students and faculty.
The ruling will apply to departments with no students whereas the 19 functioning departments will continue teaching, the report said. No information was provided as to whether those departments that will continue will be allowed to admit students or not.
YÖK’s decision came after 300 French intellectuals and politicians, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, signed a manifesto published in Le Parisien on April 21. The manifesto, which suggests some Quran verses incite violence and hatred toward Jews, Christians and nonbelievers, was interpreted as a demand to abrogate the Quran.