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Statement of the Senate of the University of Cologne from March 27, following the decision from March 10, 2021

Solidarity with the Boğaziçi University

The University of Cologne, very much aware of its history and in the spirit of its constitution, is committed to the freedom of research, and in doing so is portraying its social responsibility.

We are convinced that a cosmopolitan outlook and intercultural skills are basic prerequisites for success in all socially relevant areas and that institutions in the field of education and science are challenged to assume social responsibility in a global context. Against the background of the increase of authoritarian and anti-scientific tendencies in recent years, this perspective gains even more importance. Guiding principles for the University of Cologne are its commitment to freedom of research and teaching, not only as part of the human right to freedom of opinion and freedom of speech, but as a prerequisite for international cooperation. This belief is also characterized by mutual respect on the basis of high levels of international and intercultural competence and by the partnership-based nature of cooperation.

Against this background, the Senate of the University of Cologne views the massive encroachments on the autonomy of Turkish universities and, in particular, the recent events at Boğaziçi University with great concern. The University of Cologne is associated with Boğaziçi University in a spirit of partnership.

The Senate of the University of Cologne stands in solidarity especially with the academics and students of Boğaziçi University - explicitly also with those who belong to the LGBT community - and supports their demands for the preservation of the democratic structures and the autonomy of the university.