Turkey: The Purges Continue

Philipp Schwartz was a Hungarian-born neuropathologist who worked for the Goethe University in Frankfurt for 14 years until he was fired in 1933 for being Jewish. After his — and other scholars’ — dismissal, he convinced the then decade-old modern Turkish Republic to admit persecuted German professors to positions at Turkish universities. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the secular founder of the Turkish state, enthusiastically agreed to Schwartz’s proposal. Turkey quickly admitted 150 German Jewish professors. Schwartz was appointed as director of the Department of Pathology at the University of Istanbul. More than seven decades after, a German initiative that bears Schwartz’s name is returning the favor.

In the first week of 2017, another 631 Turkish researchers and professors were dismissed from their universities, adding to thousands who were purged during the second half of 2016. Several Turkish scholars are now reversing Schwartz’s path: In the fall of 2016, the Philipp Schwartz Initiative received more applications from Turkey than war-torn Syria or any other country. Turks now account for 46% of all applicants worldwide. As the Brussels-based European affairs weekly newspaper Politico put it: “Turkey loses its brains.”

Turkey’s problem is bigger than just literally losing its brains. The country apparently is also figuratively losing its brains. News headlines are so confusing that often one cannot decide whether he is reading a real newspaper or the Turkish version of The Onion, reflecting a collective, socio-pathological frenzy — ironically Schwartz’s work of science.

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About OyiaBrown

Please send me, as a comment to this page, any old material you have for inclusion in The Daily Joke Alert - to help enable us all to have our fancy tickled regularly! Never mind the state it's in as I tidy everything up prior to publication. Don't let good material go to waste - and so much does. In the interests of the environment we should always try to re-cycle everything, especially jokes. You know that makes sense! You may find some historical stuff here, but this does not really matter as humor is fairly timeless.

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