The 48-year-old professor had been teaching at a university in Istanbul for many years when she was ousted from her position in 2017. During her final weeks at the university, strangers visited her lectures who claimed to be workmen, she recounts. The topic of the lecture: Aristotle's theory on the nature of a tyrant. She does not want to reveal her identity out of fear that her family back in Turkey might face even more repressive measures.
Prof. Bernward Gesang of the University of Mannheim applied for a fellowship for her with the Philipp-Schwartz-Initiative, and was successful. “My colleague told me about her harrowing situation and the details of her escape to Greece. Moreover, her research project is very promising, innovative and fits an area of focus of my own research,” he explains. The Turkish researcher is currently working on a project on the future of human reproduction at the chair of Prof. Gesang.
The University of Mannheim is continuously expanding its support for researchers at risk and is a member of the Chance for Science network for researchers, academics and students who have found refuge in Germany.