Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, July 21, 2016

TURKEY INSTITUTES A TRAVEL BAN FOR ACADEMICS


The Government of Turkey has issued a blanket travel ban, prohibiting all members of the country's academic sector from travel outside the country. Though stated to be only a temporary measure, it is not known how long such restrictions will remain in place. This act has potentially serious ramifications for Country Risk.

Many of Turkey's academics are secular, and maintain pro-democracy sentiments. The government has charged that many were supporters of the failed coup, and they cannot be allowed to depart, for they may have to face justice for their role in the abortive military attempt to unseat the increasingly Islamic government. Academics are perhaps the last source of truth about Turkey's internal society, including corruption, and local participation in sanctions evasion activities regarding Iran.

Additionally, academics presently outside the country have been ordered home, upon pain of
nonspecific retribution, should they fail to promptly return. The effect of these restrictions upon freedom of speech has already been seen, and without objective and accurate information about Turkey, it will be impossible to accurately assess Country Risk. The result will most likely be a major increase in Country Risk levels, due to what amount to an effective information blackout on negative news, as reported by the academic community.

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