Stiglitz at Davos Blasts Turkey’s Blacklisting of Professors

by Isobel Finkel – January 21, 2016

Bloomberg Business

You can’t become a knowledge economy by going after your brightest minds.

So says Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, speaking after Turkey’s highest education authority last week announced an investigation into more than 1,100 academics. They had signed a petition calling on the government to redouble efforts for peace in the southeast, where for months the military has been fighting an insurgency in largely Kurdish cities.

The petition was signed by international academics, including Noam Chomsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Judith Butler of the University of California, Berkeley, and faculty members at Turkey’s top universities. By the end of the week, professors in Turkey were subject to police raids, several had lost their jobs and at least a dozen were detained, according to press reports.

That pressure will have a “chilling effect,” according to Stiglitz, who said he intends to raise the issue when he meets Turkish officials at the World Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland. He’s attending a dinner Thursday with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He’d been scheduled to appear on a panel with Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, the country’s top economic official, but Simsek instead attended a talk by Davutoglu.

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