Letter in Support of Documentary Filmmaker and Academic Can Candan
24 July 2021

To: Boğaziçi University Rectorate
      Boğaziçi University Senate
      The Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK)


Internationally renowned documentary filmmaker Can Candan has been summarily and unfairly dismissed by the new acting rector of Boğaziçi University. For many years, Candan has been a vocal advocate for academic freedom in Turkey and has been actively documenting the student and faculty resistance to the government-imposed politically appointed rector of the university. After six months of opposition, the illegitimately appointed rector was finally withdrawn but within hours of the withdrawal, the acting rector made his retributive intentions clear by swiftly cancelling the teaching contract of two vocal opponents, one of them Candan.

Making films since 1989, Candan’s work has been screened internationally at festivals, conferences, schools, universities, in galleries, cinemas, and on television. He has taught film courses and workshops, both in universities and media education centers in the United States and Turkey. He is a founding member of docIstanbul Center for Documentary Studies, which organized the 2010 Visible Evidence International Documentary Studies Conference at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.

Candan has been teaching documentary and filmmaking at Boğaziçi University since 2007 where he is the sole full-time faculty in the university’s first film certificate program. In 2016, he published the book Kurdish Documentary Cinema in Turkey, co-edited with Dr. Suncem Koçer, and their collaboration continues with a forthcoming edited collection entitled Documentary Cultures in Turkey. He is also working on a new book (in Turkish) in collaboration with Dr. Sonay Ban, about the history of documentary cinema in Turkey. Candan is the director of three award winning and internationally distributed feature-length documentaries Duvarlar-Mauern-Walls (2000), 3 Hours/Üç Saat (2008), and My Child/Benim Çocuğum (2013). He is currently working on his fourth feature documentary, Nuclear Alla Turka/Nükleer Alaturka.

The international community of academics, filmmakers, artists and cultural arts workers stand in solidarity with Can Candan and denounce this overtly hostile gesture to remove this valued member of the academic and filmmaking community from his post. Further, we stand in support of the students and faculty at Boğaziçi University who continue to valiantly resist the imposition of inappropriate governance at their university as they fight for academic freedom both for their own institution and in Turkey more broadly.

(As of 24 July, this letter is no longer collecting signatures. Thank you for your support.)

1. Alisa Lebow, Professor of Screen Media, University of Sussex
2. John Greyson, Video/Film Artist, Professor, York University
3. Bill Nichols, Professor Emeritus of Cinema, San Francisco State
4. Jane Gaines, Professor of Film, Columbia University
5. Cecilia Aldarondo, Filmmaker and Assistant Professor, Williams College
6. Orwa Nyrabia, Artistic Director
7. Rasha Salti, Commissioning Editor, Arte (France)
8. Ahmet Gürata, Visiting Researcher, Stockholm University
9. Başak Ertür, Senior Lecturer in Law, Birkbeck, University of London
10. Richard Fung, Professor Emeritus, Ontario College of Art and Design University
11. Madeleine Bernstorff, Writer and Film Curator, Selection Committee Member, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
12. Faye Ginsburg, Kriser Professor and Director of Center for Media, Culture & History, New York University
13. Angela Piccini, Associate Professor, School of Art, Design, and Architecture, University of Plymouth
14. Ted Nannicelli, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland
15. John Smith, Artist/Filmmaker, Professor Emeritus of Fine Art, University of East London
16. Stefanie Van de Peer, Lecturer in Film & Media, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
17. Martin O'Shaughnessy, Professor of Film Studies, Nottingham Trent University
18. Beja Margtházi, Senior Lecturer of Film Studies, Eötvös Loránd University
19. Sonay Ban, Instructor of Cultural Studies, Sabancı University
20. Gareth Evans, Adjunct Moving Image Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, London
21. Angelos Koutsourakis, Associate Professor in Film, University of Leeds
22. Rhiannon Harries, Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham
23. Cüneyt Çakırlar, Associate Professor, Nottingham Trent University
24. Susana de Sousa Dias, Filmmaker and Professor, University of Lisbon
25. Pam Cook, Professor Emerita in Film, University of Southampton
26. Henning Engelke, DFG Research Fellow, Philipps University Marburg
27. Chris Berry, Professor of Film Studies, King's College London
28. Laliv Melamed, Research Fellow, Goethe University, Frankfurt
29. Aykan Safoğlu, PhD Candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
30. Catherine Grant, Filmmaker and Independent Film Scholar
31. Christiane Büchner, Filmmaker, LaDOC Cologne
32. Astrid Korporaal, Kingston University London
33. Professor Michael Wayne, Brunel University
34. Agustina Comedi, Filmmaker, Buenos Aires
35. Sebastian Bodirsky, Video Editor, Berlin
36. Lindiwe Dovey, Professor of Film and Screen Studies, SOAS University of London
37. Raya Morag, Professor of Cinema Studies, Hebrew University
38. Tom Rosenberg, Film Editor, Berlin
39. Brigitta Kuster, Junior Professor in Film Research, Humboldt-University zu Berlin
40. Matthias Kispert, PhD candidate, CREAM, University of Westminster
41. Dan Geva, Associate Professor, Beit-Berl College
42. Ross Adamson, Senior Lecturer, University of Brighton
43. David Archibald, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow
44. Bella Honess Roe, University of Surrey
45. Michael Lawrence, Reader in Film Studies, University of Sussex
46. Abraham Ravett, Professor, Film and Photography, Hampshire College
47. Silke Panse, Reader in Film, Art and Philosophy, University for the Creative Arts
48. Artemis Willis, Fellow, Open Documentary Lab, MIT
49. Martin Koerber, Head of Audiovisual Heritage Film at Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin
50. Belinda Smaill, Associate Professor, Monash University
51. Isabelle McNeill, Lecturer in French and Film, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
52. Dr. Fathima Nizaruddin, Assistant Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
53. Neepa Majumdar, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
54. Jennifer Malkowski, Associate Professor, Smith College
55. Prof. Haim Bresheeth-Zabner, SOAS, University of London
56. Miranda Pennell, Filmmaker and Independent Scholar
57. Emre Caglayan, Lecturer in Cinema Studies, NYU London
58. Hande Çayır, Filmmaker and Independent Scholar
59. Dr. Cecilia Sayad, Senior Lecturer, University of Kent
60. Eva Knopf, Lecturer, Bremen University
61. Victoria Grace Walden, Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex
62. Michael Frierson, Professor, UNC Greensboro
63. Ryan Watson, Associate Professor, Misericordia University
64. Isabelle Carbonell, University of California, Santa Cruz
65. Louise Spence, Film Scholar
66. Anthony Adah, Professor, SoMAD, Minnesota State University Moorhead
67. Blake Fitzpatrick, Professor, Ryerson University
68. Steve Presence, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, UWE Bristol
69. Jill Godmilow, Filmmaker and Professor Emerita, University of Notre Dame
70. Margaret O'brien, Independent Scholar, ex British Museum
71. Barış Pirhasan, Poet, Filmmaker
72. Gabrielle McNally, Associate Professor of Digital Cinema, Northern Michigan University
73. Petra Holzer, Documentary Festival Director
74. Dr. Andrea Zimmerman, Filmmaker and Reader, University of the Arts, London
75. Christopher Pavsek, Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University, Canada
76. Necati Sönmez, Festival Programmer, Documentarist
77. Darlene J. Sadlier Professor Emerita, Indiana University, Bloomington
78. Shara Lange, East Tennessee State University
79. Shira Segal, Lecturer, University at Albany, State University of NY
80. Christian Bergmann, Co-Producer of Nuclear Alla Turca, Berlin
81. Jason Fox, Founding Editor, World Records
82. David C. Jones, Documentary Filmmaker
83. Charles Musser, Professor of Film & Media Studies, Yale University
84. Kelly Anderson, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Film and Media Studies, Hunter College
85. Sandeep Ray, Senior Lecturer in History and Film, Singapore University of Technology and Design
86. Berke Göl, Film Critic, Altyazi Cinema Magazine
87. Chana Pollack, Archivist/Translator
88. Malia Bruker, Associate Professor, Florida State University
89. Paul Fileri, Professorial Lecturer, American University, Washington, DC
90. Karen Rodriguez, Filmmaker
91. Dr Jill Daniels, Filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in Film, University of East London
92. Susan Ryan, Professor, The College of New Jersey
93. Zeynep Dadak, Filmmaker
94. Hope Tucker, Artist/Associate Professor of Video and Film, Hampshire College
95. Lisya Yafet, Programme Manager, One World Media
96. Jeffrey Skoller, Associate Professor, Film & Media, UC Berkeley
97. Dr. Matt Soar, Professor, Concordia University
98. Dr. Ulaş Şener, Lecturer, Berlin School of Economics and Law
99. Jonas Lendl, Research Assistant, Heidelberg University
100. Urszula Woźniak, Research Associate, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
101. George Robinson, Adjunct Asst. Professor, Borough of Manhattan Community College
102. Aslı Telli, Associate Professor
103. Prof. Dr. Nanna Heidenreich, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Transcultura Studies
104. Christine Hanke, Professor and Chair of Digital and Audiovisual Media, Bayreuth University
105. Mark Bould, Associate Professor of Film and Literature, UWE Bristol
106. Maja Figge, Visting Professor of Media Cultural Studies, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf
107. David C Jones, Documentary Filmmaker
108. Christoph Huber, Curator, Austrian Film Museum
109. Mark Freeman, professor emeritus, San Diego State University
110.  Jem Cohen, Filmmaker, Adjunct Faculty, The New School
111. Kareem Estefan, PhD candidate, Brown University
112. Francesca Soans, Associate Professor of Digital Media, University of Northern Iowa
113. Katrin Köppert, Junior Professor, Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
114. Ecem Yildirim, PhD Candidate, Concordia University
115. Lana Lin, Associate Professor and Director of Documentary Studies, The New School
116. Olga Hünler, PhD, Visiting Researcher, Freie University Berlin
117. Sevil Çakır, University of Göttingen
118. Habibe Sentürk, PhD Candidate, University of Göttingen
119. Fırat Erdoğmus, Research Fellow, University of Duisburg-Essen
120. Alexandru Solomon, Filmmaker, Professor, National University of Arts, Bucharest
121. Dr Searle Kochberg, Principal Lecturer, University of Portsmouth
122. İrem Akı, Visiting Scholar, Marburg University
123. Bülent Somay, Independent Scholar
124. Sharon Daniel, Professor, Film and Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
125. Minda Martin, Filmmaker and Full Professor, University of Washington at Bothell
126. Charles Wolfe, Professor of Film and Media Studies, UC Santa Barbara
127. Annelies van Noortwijk, Senior Lecturer, University of Groningen
128. Merve Şen, PhD student, Penn State University
129. Kristen Fuhs, Associate Professor, Woodbury University
130. Fırat Yücel, Film Critic/Filmmaker
131. Jon Hackett, Associate Professor, St Mary's University, Twickenham
132. Alanna Thain, Associate Professor, McGill University
133. Alice von Bieberstein, Research Associate, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
134. John Gianvito, Filmmaker/Professor, Emerson College
135. Claudia Pummer, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies, University of Hawaii-Manoa
136. Alexandra Juhasz, Distinguished Professor of Film, Brooklyn College, CUNY
137. John Burgan, MetFilm School, Berlin / ZeLIG School for Documentary, TV & New Media
138. Cagan Duran, PhD Candidate, University of Duisburg-Essen
139. B Ruby Rich, Editor in chief, Film Quarterly
140. Kyna Morgan, Independent Scholar
141. Sherry Millner, Professor, CUNY Staten Island
142. Gail Vanstone, Professor and Coordinator Department of Humanities, York University
143. Vinicius Navarro, Associate Professor of Film and Visual Arts, Emerson College
144. Aparna Sharma, Associate Professor, World Arts and Cultures/ Dance, UCLA
145. Chris Tedjasukmana, Professor of Everyday Media and Digital Cultures, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz
146. Lee Grieveson, Professor of Media History, University College London
147. Patrick Tarrant, Associate Professor of Film, London South Bank University
148. Carolyn Steele, contract faculty, York University
149. Diane Negra, Professor of Film Studies and Screen Culture, University College Dublin
150. Carolin Schmitz, Filmmaker, Germany
151. Prof Dr Stephan Packard, University of Cologne
152. Niina Oisalo, University of Turku
153. Leshu Torchin, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of St Andrews
154. Ulrike Hanstein, Professor of Film Studies, Internationale Filmschule Köln
155. Dr. Ludovica Fales, Filmmaker, University College London
156. Pınar Asan, PhD Candidate, University of Münster
157. Nur Yasemin Ural, Post-doc, University of Leipzig
158. Ute Holl, Professor of Media Aesthetics, Basel University
159. Enis Köstepen, Film Producer
160. Nadir Öperli, Film Producer
161. İbrahim Betil
162. Hakan Altun, Visiting Scholar, Goethe University
163. Senem Aytaç, Film Critic
164. Liz Greene, Reader in Film and Sonic Arts, Liverpool John Moores University
165. Sevgi Uçan Çubukçu, Professor of Political Science
166. Enes Ozkan, PhD Candidate, Istanbul University
167. Hamit Ozonur, Filmmaker/Film Critic
168. Dr Anindya Raychaudhuri, Senior Lecturer, School of English, University of St Andrews
169. Lucy Fife Donaldson, Lecturer in Film Studies, University of St Andrews
170. Joe Slater, Associate Lecturer in Philosophy, University of St Andrews
171. Nishtha Jain, Filmmaker, India
172. Nedret Kuran, (Emeritus) Professor of Translation Studies, Boğaziçi University
173. Mehmet Rauf Kesici, Associate Professor
174. Sarah Broadie, Professor of Philosophy, University of St Andrews
175. Emily Finer, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews
176. Kate Cross, University of St Andrews
177. Anna Backman Rogers. Professor of Aesthetics, Culture & Feminist Theory, University of Gothenburg
178. Necmiye Alpay, Linguist
179. Deniz Yonucu, Lecturer, Newcastle University
180. Vecdi Sayar, Film Critic
181. Gillian Russell, Professor, Australian Catholic University
182. Didem Pekün, Filmmaker
183. Massimo Perinelli, Historian, Berlin
184. Sanghita Sen, Documentary Filmmaker, Scotland,
185. Ingo Arend, Author, Critic, Board Member "neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK)", Berlin
186. Sarah Dawson, Film Programmer
187. Ayça Çiftçi, Film Critic
188. Cíntia Gil, Festival Director, Sheffield DocFest
189. Jochen Werner, film critic & curator
190. Philip Scheffner, Filmmaker, Berlin
191. Jak Jabes, retired Professor, University of Ottawa
192. Dr. Ömer Alkin, Philipps-Universität Marburg
193. Tanya Goldman, New York University
194. Pelin Uzay, Attorney & Producer, Uzay Law, PLLC & Pactum Films
195. Dr. Zeynep Akçakaya, Independent researcher
196. Dr. Devrim Umut Aslan, Lund University, Sweden
197. Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat, Professor, University of Connecticut
198. Elif Sendur, Rutgers University
199. Inga Turczyn, Filmmaker, Berlin
200. Hacer Ansal, Prof.Dr. retired, Istanbul Technical University
201. Ayca Ince, PhD
202. LeAnn Erickson, Professor, Department of Film and Media Arts, Temple University
203. Mara Alper, Professor Emerita, Ithaca College
204. Levent Çetin, Film Director
205. Prof. Dr. Kader Konuk, Universität Duisburg-Essen & Academy in Exile
206. John Schmit, Professor, Department of Visual and Media Arts, Grand Valley University
207. Reşit Canbeyli Professor Emeritus Boğaziçi University
208. Ece Üçoluk Krane, PhD, Georgia State University
209. Noe Mendelle, Director Scottish Documentary Institute
210. Lauren Steimer, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of South Carolina
211. Serra Ciliv, Filmmaker, Producer
212. Jana Zündel, Research Assistant, Bonn University
213. Laura McMahon, Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies, University of Cambridge
214. Yaprak Damla Yildirim, PhD Student, UC San Diego
215. Jana König, Historian, Berlin
216. Bahar Zafer, PhD student, University of Rochester
217. Arshi Javaid, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universitat Berlin
218. Deirdre Boyle, Emeritus Professor of Media Studies, The New School NY
219. Eliza Rodriguez y Gibson, PhD. Professor and Associate Dean, Loyola Marymount Universit
220. Elske Rosenfeld, Artist, Author, Berlin
221. Sasha Waters Freyer, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
222. Dr. Gregory Max Berger, Professor, Facultad de Artes, UAEM, Cuernavaca,
223. Ania Trzebiatowska, Film Curator, Sundance Film Festival
224. Pooja Rangan, Associate Professor of English in Film and Media Studies, Amherst College
225. Ozge Samanci, Associate Professor, Northwestern University
226. Lorena Cervera, PhD Candidate, UCL
227. Debra Beattie Adjunct Senior Lecturer Griffith Film School
228. Binnaz Toprak, retired Professor of Political Science, Bogazici University
229. Paul Turano, Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College
230. Tara McPherson, Endowed Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, University of Southern California
231. Julia Strutz, Humboldt University Berlin & Off-University
232. Luke Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Sussex
233. Peter Mackay, School of English, University of St Andrews
234. Ruth Novaczek, Filmmaker, Independent Film Scholar
235. Gülfem Köseoğlu, Architect  Technical University of Vienna
236. Hülya Uçansu, Co-Founder and Director, Istanbul Film Festival (1983-2006)
237. Rosie Thomas, Professor of Film, University of Westminster
238. İrem Sözen, Photographer, Independent Architecture Scholar
239. Duygu Eruçman, Documentary Filmmaker, Washington, D.C.
240. Burcu Aykar, Film Critic
241. Irene Gustafson, Associate Professor, University of California Santa
242. Patricia Zimmermann, Dana Professor of Screen Studies, Ithaca College
243. Andrés Di Tella, Documentary Filmmaker, Buenos Aires
244. Janet Walker, Professor of Film and Media Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
245. S Topiary Landberg, Lecturer, University of California, Santa Cruz
246. Bengü Kocatürk-Schuster, Initiative Duisburg 1984  
247. Riley Morton, Producer, Endless Earth
248. Paul Garrett, Professor, Temple University
249. Eran Preis Assoc. Prof. Temple University
250. Andrew T. Lamas, Faculty, University of Pennsylvania
251. Ann Alter, Professor & Department Chair, Humboldt State University, California
252. Robert Rooy, Independent Film Producer/Director
253. Jaimie Baron, Associate Professor, University of Alberta
254. Pratap Rughani, Professor of Documentary Practices, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
255. Matthew Bosica, MLitt Film Studies, University of St Andrews
256. Sonia García López, Associate professor & Vice Dean for Quality, Carlos III University of Madrid
257. Philip Rizk, Filmmaker
258. Naomie Gramlich, Lecturer, PhD student, University of Potsdam
259. Michael Chanan, Professor Emeritus, University of Roehampton
260. Doug Block, Founder and Co-host, The D-Word
261. Bilge Yesil, Associate Professor, City University of New York
262. Jayasinhji Jhala, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Temple University
263. Joshua Malitsky, Associate Professor, Indiana University
264. Esra Ozban, PhD Student, University of California, Santa Cruz
265. Ksenia Fir, filmmaker and graduate student, UC Santa Cruz
266. Sarah Bird, Artist/Filmmaker, PhD candidate, Film and Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
267. Pinar Ustel, Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan
268. Heather Levi, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Temple University
269. Kate Ince, Professor of French and Visual Studies, University of Birmingham
270. Judith Aston, Assoc. Professor of Interactive and Immersive Media, University of the West of England
271. Ryan Page, Doctoral Candidate/Film and Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
272. Dorothy R. Santos, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Cruz
273. Lior Shamriz, Filmmaker
274. Irene Lusztig, Professor of Film and Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz
275. Marilia Kaisar, PhD Student in Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz
276. Simone Fary, Filmmaker, Nerds Make Media, LLC
277. Michelle Hurtubise, Visual Anthropology, Temple University
278. K. Eva Weiss, Research Associate, Temple University
279. Peter Limbrick, Professor of Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz
280. Michelle Hurtubise, Visual Anthropology, Temple University
281. K. Eva Weiss, Research Associate, Temple University
282. Esra Ece Kutlu, Writer
283. Ilana Navaro, Filmmaker, Radio Producer, Paris
284. Samim Akgönül, Director of Turkish Studies, University of Strasbourg
285. Aygul Erce, Singer Songwriter, conscientious objector
286. Pınar Kür, Writer, Retired Academician, Boğaziçi graduate
287. Banu Can, researcher, Boğaziçi University
288. İ. Kuban Altınel, Professor, Dept. of Industrial Eng., Boğaziçi University
289. Asli Niyazioglu, Associate Professor of Ottoman History, University of Oxford
290. Gülengül Altıntaş, Screenwriter, Off-University
291. Asena Günal, Anadolu Kültür
292. Zeynep Yurekli-Gorkay, Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture, University of Oxford
293. Can Sungu, bi‘bak, Sinema Transtopia
294. Feryal Saygılıgil, Assoc. Professor
295. Koray Çalışkan, The New School
296. Uğur Çalışkan, PhD Candidate, University of Cologne
297. Fırat Bozçalı, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
298. Oğuz Yenen, Advisor, İstanbul Bilgi University
299. Yasheng She, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Santa Cruz
300. Duygu Parmaksizoglu Sanders, Anthropologist
301. Z Tül Akbal Süalp Professor, Kampüssüzler
302. Mandy Rose, Professor of Documentary & Digital Cultures, UWE Bristol
303. Burçe Celik, Institute for Media and Creative Industries, Loughborough University
304. Deniz Tortum, Filmmaker
305. Nurci Ileri, EUME Fellow, Trans Forum Regionale Studien/ Humboldt University
306. Vladimir Karanikolov, Filmmaker, Bulgaria
307. Teoman Pamukçu, Professor, Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ)
308. Metin Avdaç, Director
309. Murat Akser, Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, Ulster University
310. Uras Koçum, Student in History, Middle East Technical University
311. Güven Güzeldere, Philosopher
312. Brett Kashmere, Executive Director, Canyon Cinema
313. Sahan Savas Karatasli, Asst Professor, University of North Carolina
314. Bahriye Kabadayı Dal, Documentary Filmmaker
315. Burak Dal, Film Editor
316. Łukasz Drozda, Associate Professor, University of Warsaw
317. Esra Erdem, Professor of Social Economics, Alice Salomon University Berlin
318. Dr. Zeynep Erk Emeksiz, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
319. Koray Sayer, Producer, Santa Barbara, California

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