Legal personhood, jurisdiction and academic freedom of universities: Turkey’s 2016 repression on scholars

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Right of freedom of speech and expression, despite being first documented as early as in 1689 and charted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, is subject to a variety of interpretations and restrictions. Although all academics possess this right as human beings, it is often limited by the legal framework in which the academic freedom is being exercised. This presentation will explore how the legal personhood of a university correlates with the academic freedom. It starts by examining freedom of expression as a universal right, which most related discourses regard as the source from which academic freedom emanates. We take a critical stance in this regard and move on to analyze factors affecting the scope of autonomy and jurisdiction of universities as a legal entity or person by illustrating our discussion on Turkey’s 2016 repression on scholars. It is argued that constitutional provisions on freedom of speech and education do not effectively guarantee academic freedom in realpolitik. Since repression on academia is more often reified with maneuvers within university structure, we conjecture that the dynamics between institutional autonomy and jurisdictions of universities may, instead, be the real frontline of contemporary struggle for academic freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


freedom of opinion
legal entity
human being


Park, J. (2017, June). Legal personhood, jurisdiction and academic freedom of universities: Turkey’s 2016 repression on scholars. Paper presented at the 2017 International Academic Conference on Business Stockholm, 2017 International Conference on Education Stockholm & 2017 International Conference on Technology in Education, Stockholm, Sweden.