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Two OSU Alums Among Academics Arrested In Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming under heavy criticism for violating academic freedoms after several academics were reportedly arrested for signing a petition showing their opposition to military operations in southeastern Turkey. Two of the people detained are former Ohio State University students.

Yucel Demirer, who received his Ph.D. from OSU's Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and his wife Derya Keskin, who received an MA from OSU's Deptartment of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, are both faculty members at Kocaeli University in Izmit, just northeast of Istanbul.

There were among the academics arrested and temporarily detained for signing a petition criticizing the military actions.

To learn more about the OSU alums arrested and the history of academic tolerance in Turkey, WOSU’s Steve Brown spoke with Jane Hathway, an OSU history professor who specializes in the Middle East.

Click the play button below to hear their conversation.