Turkey’s higher education council has banned Turkish academics from leaving the country and those who are abroad have been urged to return home at once, Turkey’s state media and an official who asked for anonymity has said.
“It is a temporary measure that we were compelled to take due to the flight risk of alleged accomplices of coup plotters in universities,” a Turkish official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
“Universities have always been crucial for military juntas in Turkey, and certain individuals are believed to be in contact with cells within the military,” the official said.
The travel ban on academics follows one day after the higher education council demanded the resignation of 1,577 deans at universities across the country.
On Tuesday, the education ministry revoked the licences of 21,000 teachers working in private institutions. The government also suspended 15,200 state education employees.
Following the attempted coup by breakaway members of the military, Turkey has sacked or arrested thousands of members of the judiciary, police forces and the military.
At least 290 people, including insurgents, died after rebel soldiers attempted to overthrow the government on Friday night, bombing state buildings and killing civilians and security forces.