Association History

Association-Brief History

Academics at Risk is a platform, established after the 15 July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Post-coup attempt, a lot of scientists purged, imprisoned and silenced.Individuals who share the same values,  all over the world, are invited to get involved in Academics at Risk Platform.

In the anti-democratic process that took place in Turkey between 2014 and 2016, great pressures were created on intellectuals and scientists. After the unfortunate attempt of July 15, thousands of scientists were expelled from universities and hundreds more were arrested. In this process, those who had the opportunity to go abroad had to immigrate to various countries of the world.
Who knows what new opportunities this reluctant, painful and risky migration would open up for the scientific world and scientists!  Indeed, that happened.
A group of scientists who had been acquainted before took the initiative and attempted to open the doors of rejoining the world of science.
This initiative has revealed a new platform that will be a roof for scientists in Germany.
The first attempt took place in the new and humble environment of scientists who had landed at the “0” point in October 2018. It was held in a temporary guesthouse called “Heim” in Germany by 3 academics and 1 administrative staff who had the opportunity to go abroad in an unfortunate and difficult process.
In this brainstorming, scientists concentrate on the following priorities and discuss possible solutions;
To be able to adapt more quickly to the social and cultural conditions of the country they are in.
To be able to produce motivation and research ground to return to research.
Making efforts to explain the antidemocratic process in Turkey, the injustices, persecutions and imprisoned scientists to the European public and the scientific world.
Of course, these were goals for more than a few people and involved a lot of work. Therefore, they try to reach more and different scientists. They decide that the best way to do this is to gather willing people together under the umbrella of a non-governmental organization (Initiative).
As a result of intense efforts, an initiative called Academics at Risk was established on 20.04.2019 with the scientists they could reach and persuade in various European countries, especially in Germany.
Working groups were formed with a series of meetings held in the period after the establishment, task distribution was made and activity plans were put into writing to achieve the determined objectives.

In this process, which lasts about 3 years, a large number of activities are carried out while the plans are realized.
A few examples of what has been done;
First of all, the web page and social media organization has been completed.
Survey studies were carried out to get opinions and views on the platform and to determine the expectations and needs of scientists.
After the needs were determined, a series of seminars and activities were held on the following topics;
▪ The Philipp Schwartz Initiative Scholarship Application, Roadmap and Information Seminar,
▪ Roadmap Seminar for Young Scientists who have to leave their doctorate or master’s degree, or who want to pursue a doctorate, master’s,
▪ Preparation for the German Academic World and Initial Projects and Scholarships Seminar,
▪ Preparation of application files, Seminars on Finding a Job in Germany,
▪ Seminar on making Ausbildung, Weiterbildung, Fortbildung, Umschlung in Germany,
▪ “Memorial and Story Writing Event” was organized
▪ “Academic Freedom in Turkey Report” was prepared after July 15.
▪ A report was prepared for the “Universal Periodic Review (UPR)” regarding the member states of the United Nations and two scientists representing the Initiative made a presentation in Geneva.
These activities were instrumental in meeting new people. There has been a continuous increase in the number of members with new scientists. The accumulated knowledge and experience and the increase in the number of new members encouraged the Initiative management to take a step forward. To achieve some further goals, it was decided to switch from the initiative legal entity to the
association legal entity.

With the excitement of a new establishment, a new by-law study was initiated. Although there was no opportunity to meet physically, discussions were held with the members and potential members in six different states on the mission, duties and core values of the Association, via video conference method.
With the experiences gained in three years and the feedback received from the meetings with the members, the charter and basic values of the Association were formed.
The Platform or Initiative was now ready to be transported to a different dimension!
The charter of the association was finalized at the Online General Assembly meeting held on 17.04.2021, the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee were elected and the Academics at Risk e.V. Association was established.