Academic removed from duty will not leave his students

Expelled from his academic position, Prof. Emrah Günok said: “It’s time for us to do our duty. Even if I have just one student left, I will continue o teach at the Open Academy.”

Peace Signatory academic Emrah Günok said: “They expelled us from the academia, but they can’t steal the academia in our hearts. Being expelled from public service is not going to be an excuse to abandon this work.”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emrah Günok was an academic in the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Faculty of Literature Department of Philosophy, and was expelled with the Statutory Decree (KHK) No.389 issued on April 29. Günok continues to teach philosophy in various institutions in Van with the Open Academy.

Günok said: “I don’t regret signing that document. I would sign it again today. I may have been expelled from public service, but I will continue to teach my students.”


Günok said signing the document was a matter of protesting the events of the time and not staying silent, and added: “It was a demonstration of what being an academic and what academia mean. The university is not the buildings where you stroll among the classrooms and meet with the dean and run into the president. It is an institution, and it is an abstract entity as an institution. Being an academic is the basic activity of people who yearn for universality, who strive to transcend historical conditioning, who have the desire and the skill to tell that history, who chase the truth. They managed to expel us from the academia, but they can’t steal the academia in our hearts. So, being expelled from public service is not going to be an excuse to abandon this work. I will continue to teach in the Open Academy for the students who want to attend classes.”

Günok said he will continue to teach even if he moves to a different city, because academia is not an institution that the government continues to approve and boast about somehow funding. Günok continued: “We approve universal knowledge. This style of Academy, activities and classes must continue despite the government.”


Günok stressed that there is still a lot to do, and continued: “It is obvious that they have filled the universities with academics not based on knowledge but obedience. Very soon they will appoint pro-government people to the posts left behind from us. Like they have invaded all the media with their sycophants, I fear the situation could get more severe. We must take precautions against this. And for that, we must continue our struggle.”


Günok stated that knowledge is a tool of the struggle and suggested the struggle continue through knowledge. Günok said Turkey is going through a very important phase in its history and that this should be recognized for its value. Günok added that he thinks they can be thankful for what they have experienced, like Erdoğan was “thankful for the coup”, and continued: “Because historical awareness won’t develop otherwise. We should take this historic opportunity and continue to do what needs to be done in this period.”


Günok stressed that they won’t lock themselves in their homes just because they were expelled, and stated that what needs to be done is not to step aside silent and alone, but to fight. “We must come together and show that the academia is not just buildings, it is in our minds, and show that we have the thirst to learn,” said Günok and added that he will continue to teach even if he has just one student left. Günok suggested the expelled academics come together and expand this network further.


Günok said the idea of academia has always been foreign to Turkey, and asked: “Was there really an academia to speak of in Turkey if so how it disappeared so easily?”

Günok added: “If academia had set itself as one of the truly important institutions of Turkey, it wouldn’t fall apart like a house of cards after a slight gust today. It would have stood strong.”


Günok pointed to the fact that it is not the time or the place to be resentful and continued: “On the contrary, it is time to be joyful, and angry. Today, we have to do what we must as happy individuals facing an organized hatred.”