Our universities welcome diverse views: Turkish leader

By Diyar Guldogan

ANKARA (AA) – Excepting views supporting terrorism and violence, Turkish universities welcome a broad range of views, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

"There is a place in our universities for any view, no matter how rigid they are, as long as they are not involved in violence and do not bless terrorism," Erdogan told a ceremony ushering in the new school year at Erciyes University in the central Kayseri province.

Erdogan said over the last 16 years Turkey has taken major steps not only in the areas of the economy, health, and infrastructure, but also in liberalizing universities.

"We know very well that Turkish universities are enjoying the most liberal, independent, and powerful era in their history," he added.

Erdogan said no civilized country can allow terrorism to take root at universities, adding: "Because spreading terrorist propaganda cannot be considered freedom of thought in any democratic country in the world."

He added that Turkey places importance on reflecting social differentiation at universities since they have to carry a universal identity.