Education International has sent out an urgent action alert for teachers in Turkey, including details of how to contribute to a solidarity fund. Tens of thousands of schoolteachers have been summarily dismissed in the wake of the failed coup in the summer, as have thousands of academics. The other main focus of oppression is the media with many journalists in jail. 

While the government is using the coup as a pretext for the oppression of teachers, it is clear that the real reason is the consistent support that Turkish teachers and in particular their union Egitim Sen give both to the rights of Kurdish people and for democratic rights in general. While the government of Tayyip Erdogan blames the religious Gulen movement for the coup, Egitim Sen campaigns consistently for secular education.

As UK academic Howard Stevenson points out in an important post, it is vital that teachers and their unions send global solidarity to their beleaguered Turkish colleagues. It is important to donate to the solidarity fund to help those teachers who have been dismissed with no right of appeal. But collective action is also vital. Teachers should urge their unions to organise protests for instance to Turkish embassies so that our colleagues know they are not alone.