Columbia Reschedules Canceled Panel on Turkey

April 23, 2019

Columbia University has rescheduled a panel event focused on the collapse of the rule of law in Turkey for this Friday, after having abruptly called off the event earlier this month.

Panelists suspected that the previous event was canceled in response to pressure from the Turkish government. A senior Turkish diplomat confirmed to The Washington Post that he had contacted Columbia to object to the participation on the panel of Y. Alp Aslandogan, the president of a New York-based nonprofit organization affiliated with Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric whom Turkey's government blames for a 2016 coup attempt (Gülen has denied responsibility). Columbia denied that government pressure was the reason for the cancellation. The university said there were "irregularities" in the planning process for the event and that several Columbia faculty and institutes had withdrawn their support.

Aslandogan is scheduled to appear at the rescheduled event, which is being hosted by Columbia’s law school. Columbia’s provost, John Coatsworth, is also scheduled to give opening remarks.

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