Erdogan: Our universities are open to scholars defending Gaza

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country’s universities are open to world scholars defending the Gaza Strip who are facing pressure in their current universities.

This came in a speech he delivered on Wednesday during an event distributing scientific and academic awards at the Presidential Complex in the capital, Ankara.

He added that scholars “who acknowledge the existence of injustice in Gaza are today exposed to pressure and threats, just as was the case in Nazi Germany 80 years ago.”

Erdogan appealed to scholars “who are under pressure because of their defense of human dignity” in Gaza, addressing them by saying: “The doors of Turkish universities are wide open to you.”

The Turkish President also stressed that “all organizations that work as advocates for democracy, from the Security Council to media institutions, and from the European Union to press organizations, have failed the Gaza test.”

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It is noteworthy that the President of the American University of Pennsylvania, Liz Magill, announced her resignation this December after days of criticism and pressure following her testimony in a US Congressional hearing about accusations of “increasing anti-Semitism” on campus.

Former presidents of Harvard University also announced their support for the current president, Claudine Gay, who announced her resignation after being criticized for considering that the pro-Palestine demonstrations fall within the scope of “freedom of thought.”

In a related context, Erdogan said, “Institutions that pay lip service and spend huge sums of money become absolutely worthless when the talk is about Israel and its injustice.”

Erdogan criticized the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in this regard, asking: “What is the difference between you (Netanyahu and his army) and what (German Nazi leader) Hitler did? What Netanyahu is doing is much more terrible than what Hitler did.”