TÜSİAD rejects French allegations on “influence in universities”


ANKARA

The Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) rejected the remarks of a French Senate report on the work of the Bosphorus Institute (Institut du Bosphore de Paris), saying its claim was not consistent with the facts and aimed at restricting freedom of expression.

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TÜSİAD made a statement regarding a report released by the French Senate on September 29, titled “The Influence of Non-European States in French Academia and Universities and the Effects of These Influences”.

TÜSİAD said on October 11 that the report, which did not refer to TÜSİAD, contained false information and material errors about the Bosphorus Institute.

It was specified that the institute is an independent and impartial think tank created in 2009 with the French association law no. 1901.

The institute has no organic or financial ties with any state, and it operates with financial contributions from companies in France and Turkey and support from TÜSİAD, the statement said.

“In its works, events and publications, the focus is on the economy, climate, digital transformation, energy, the process of European integration and social issues, and different opinions on these issues are expressed independently. official institutions, ”TÜSİAD said.

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He noted that the institute receives contributions from the business world, politicians from different points of view, academics, media and representatives of civil society from France, other EU countries and from Turkey.

“The institute has been working transparently for 11 years in order to deepen knowledge about the economic, political and cultural characteristics of Turkey in Europe, to improve Turkey-France and Turkey-EU relations and the integration process of Turkey. the EU. In this context, the statements of the Senate report on the impartiality and independence of the institute are in contradiction with the facts, ”he added.

“We regret that the statements in the report on IB, an independent think tank open to all kinds of ideas, created to strengthen dialogue between France and Turkey, also aim to restrict freedom of expression, the one of the fundamental values. from France and the EU, ”TÜSİAD said.

The development of the deeply rooted relations between Turkey and France can only be achieved by supporting platforms where all kinds of views can be shared and discussed, he said, adding: “The institute, whose the opinion was not taken during the preparation of the report. , will attempt to correct the Senate report in the light of this information based on concrete, transparent and verifiable data.

In the report, it was claimed that China, Russia, Turkey and some Gulf states attempted to impose their views by influencing academia in France.

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In the Turkey section of the report, it is argued that Turkey is trying to make an impact on universities and universities on two main axes: “By creating and funding think tanks” and “by putting pressure on researchers”.

The Bosphorus Institute supported by TÜSİAD was cited as an example of such think tanks.


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