Turkish court cancels disciplinary penalty against academic Can Candan

A Turkish court has cancelled a disciplinary penalty imposed by Boğaziçi University against Can Candan which the school's trustee management had cited as one of the reasons for the academic's dismissal.

Duvar English

A Turkish court has cancelled a disciplinary penalty against academic and documentary filmmaker Can Candan that was imposed by Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University. The penalty in question was one of the reasons the university management had cited in a decision to dismiss Candan from his position.

The penalty in question concerned Candan’s tweet from 2021 in which he had shared Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) chair Erkan Baş’s remarks in quotation. During a press meeting in parliament on June 1, 2021, Baş had criticized Prof. Naci İnci’s refusal to approve a course of lawyer-academic Feyzi Erçin at the summer school of the university. İnci was at the time the vice rector of the university while Melih Bulu was serving as the rector.

“Is there any single person who would recognize you if the (ruling Justice and Development Party) AKP and his accomplice Melih had not stood by your side? Even if you sit at that seat (of vice rectorship) for 1,000 years, you will not be fit to hold a candle to teacher Feyzi,” Baş had said, which was reshared by the news outlet İleri Haber and Candan. 

In a social media post on March 22, Candan said: “This disciplinary penalty was one of the reasons for which I was dismissed from duty (in Boğaziçi University) for the second time.”

Candan said that as a result of his 2021 tweet, Boğaziçi University management launched a disciplinary investigation against him on accusations of “insulting superiors.”

“In August 2022, I launched a lawsuit (against Boğaziçi University management) for both the cancellation of this disciplinary penalty and my dismissal (from the university) for the second time. By a unanimous vote on Feb. 20, 2023, the court ruled for the cancellation of the disciplinary penalty. The case concerning the dismissal’s cancellation is ongoing,” Candan wrote.

In two separate consecutive rulings, Boğaziçi University’s trustee management had ruled for the dismissal of Candan from his post. Candan won the lawsuit in the first case, with a court reinstating him back to the university’s Department of Western Languages and Literature last year. The second case for his dismissal is still ongoing.