News

Update from Front Line Defenders: Court accepts indictment against Hanifi Barış On 23 July 2018, İstanbul’s 29th

High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against detained lawyer and academic Hanifi Barış and ordered his continued detention. He was arrested for posts he made on social media on 4 July 2018 and is charged with creating “terrorist propaganda”. He has been kept in solitary confinement for approximately 10 days. His first hearing is scheduled for 18 September 2018. Hanifi Barış is a lawyer and academic, who has also worked on human rights. He is a member of Academics for Peace, a group which has condemned state violence against Kurdish groups and the Turkish State’s ongoing violation of its own laws and international treaties resulting in numerous human rights violations. He also signed the 2016 peace petition “We will not be a party to this crime!”. The human rights defender drew public attention for representing a famous conscientious objector who was sentenced to prison, and defended the client’s right to represent himself in Kurdish, which was refused by the court. On 23 July 2018, İstanbul’s 29th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against Hanifi Barış and confirmed his detention. The Court based its decision on an assessment of digital materials supposedly confiscated during an alleged search of his residence and belongings, however no such search ever took place. In mid-July, Hanifi Barış submitted a petition requesting his transfer to another dormitory. He was informed that he would be kept in another cell until a final decision on his transfer was made. Since then, he has been kept in solitary confinement and has only been permitted to go to the open air facilities of the prison for one hour each day. Before being moved to his new cell, he was permitted 12 hours of outdoor activity a day. On 4 July, Hanifi Barış was arrested by the 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace. During his interrogation at the Prosecutor’s Office, he was accused of creating “terrorist propaganda” and questioned about his social media posts, which shared news articles and commentaries from international and local media sources. The human rights defender did not add any of his own commentary to the posts. Front Line Defenders expresses its concern regarding the arrest of and charges against Hanifi Barış and believe they are a result of exercising his fundamental right to freedom of expression on social media in the defence of human rights.

“SUPPORTING ACADEMICS AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTOR IN A CHALLENGING CONTEXT”

Turkey’s Academy under the State of Emergency
Universities and academics in Turkey have been facing severe political pressure for
more than two years now, giving way to a variety of human rights violations against
members of the academic community, including imprisonment, prosecutions, undue
treatment, dismissals and travel bans. The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey’s (HRFT)
EC-funded Project, “Supporting academics as a human rights actor in a challenging
context”, aims to support and empower academics, who have been facing political,
judicial and administrative pressures due to their work and statements as human rights
defenders . 1
The Project’s newsletter “Academics for Human Rights” aims to provide updated
information on human rights violations against academics in Turkey and disseminate
project outcomes, raising awareness on both national and international scales to help
strengthen solidarity for taking an effective stance against human rights violations in
Turkey’s academia.
The first issue of Academics for Human Rights published in April 2018 focused
particularly on the “Peace Petition Affair”, the threats to Turkey’s Academics for Peace
and the resulting human rights violations. Yet, human rights violations have not only
affected the Academics for Peace, but also a high number of other academics,
particularly in the context of the on-going state of emergency. The current issue of
Academics for Human Rights brings Turkey’s Academy under these extreme conditions
in light, for highlighting the pressed need for increased public awareness and
providing HRFT and its partners with a foundation from which to evaluate the
destruction in Turkey’s academia and take effective stance against it. Read More

SPSP Supports Scholars in Turkey

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) continues to be troubled by the actions against social and personality psychologists in Turkey who are undergoing persecution by the Turkish government. SPSP has previously called for the end of this treatment that threatens academic freedom.

Today, the Executive Committee of SPSP announced that it will provide a comped 2018-2019 membership in the Society to those social and personality psychologists in Turkey who have lost their academic positions because of punitive government actions.

Those interested in receiving the comped membership can reach out to SPSP Membership Manager, Brannan Meyers, at bmeyers@spsp.org

Launch of the New University in Exile Consortium

The New School invites you to attend the launch of the New University in Exile Consortium

We are living at a time when scholars around the world are under attack, just as when the original University in Exile was established in 1933 to save academic victims of Nazism during World War II. In our own day, universities have once again been shuttered or destroyed; many scholars have been purged from their faculty positions; others seek safety from conflicts that have riven their countries.

The New University in Exile Consortium, (New UIE Consortium), is an initiative created by The New School to confront today’s surging threats to scholars around the world. The New UIE Consortium is a group of like-minded colleges and universities, each of which is committed to hosting at least one endangered scholar. The founding member institutions are: Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Connecticut College, Georgetown University, George Mason University, The New School, Rutgers University – Newark, Trinity College, and Wellesley College.

This event will feature distinguished speakers—witnesses to the dangers of authoritarian governments and wars around the world—in conversation on the protection of scholars and other refugees. It will also feature comments by some of the endangered scholars themselves who will be hosted at New UIE Consortium institutions.

PROGRAM

Speakers include:

  • Kati Marton, Hungarian-American author and journalist; award-winning former NPR and ABC News correspondent; human rights activist
  • David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee; former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom
  • (Moderator) T. Alexander Aleinikoff, University Professor, The New School; Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility
  • With remarks from Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of Central European University; Canadian writer, teacher and former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (*Michael Ignatieff is unable to be present at the event, but has kindly recorded a video that we will stream)
  • With comments by currently hosted endangered scholars from member institutions

*This event is free. Guests are encouraged to register.

Share the “World of Tayyips” and tell Turkey that satire is not a crime

Satirical cartoons of political leaders are widely understood as a crucial form of social commentary around the world. In Turkey, however, they’re yet another way the government criminalizes social criticism.

This July, punitive investigations have been launched against a group of technical university students, 72 MPs and the leader of the government’s primary political opposition, all ‘guilty’ of sharing “World of Tayyips”, a cartoon that depicts Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the form of various animals.

The Initiative for Freedom of Expression – Turkey is inviting supporters of freedom of expression around the world to reshare the cartoon in solidarity with those under judicial threat. If you wish to take part, share the cartoon by clicking the tweet below or write your own tweet calling for tolerance of satire, using hashtag #WorldofTayyips.  Read more

Satire aimed at political leaders is a fundamental expression right. I stand with those arrested for sharing #WorldofTayyips in #Turkey! #tayyipleralemi goo.gl/VsuaYT  

 

‘I kind of gave up’: how academics in danger rebuild their lives in exile
Scholars in war-torn and authoritarian countries are finding a lifeline in British universities

Naif Bezwan.jpg

Tim Judah JUNE 29, 2018, FT Magazine UK universities
A few minutes after meeting Zaher al-Bakour in a Caffè Nero on Aberdeen’s Union Street, his phone rings and he swipes to decline the call. It is just his sister, he says. Mortified that he should do this to someone WhatsApp-calling him from rebel-held territory in Syria while we chat over croissants and cappuccinos, I suggest that he call her back. She thinks her nine-year-old daughter has typhoid and, since there are no doctors there, wants al-Bakour, an academic who specialises in pharmacology, to analyse the case. He can’t. Though he spends his days in a white lab coat tinkering with test tubes and microscopes, “I’m not a doctor,” he says.
It’s a cruel twist to a modern war. Imagine that, in 1943, you could have called Aberdeen from the Warsaw ghetto. Indeed, in a way al-Bakour, a 27-year-old from conflict-torn Aleppo, has ended up in the granite “grey city” because of the Nazis. He is an exiled academic who has been brought to Britain by the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), a British organisation founded in 1933 to help German-Jewish scholars who were fired when Hitler came to power. That same year, Albert Einstein made a powerful speech in London’s Albert Hall to raise funds for the organisation. Of Einstein’s generation, 16 of those who were helped by Cara went on to win Nobel Prizes. Then, like geological layers of war and terror, came Hungarians in 1956, junta-fleeing South Americans, South Africans in flight from the apartheid regime and, now, those from the Middle East.

There are tens of millions of refugees in the world but al-Bakour is part of a tiny and exclusive group plucked to safety by fate and talent. There are currently just 280 Cara fellows. Its mission has remained strikingly simple over its 85-year existence. If you are an academic who has taught, and is in danger, you are eligible to apply for help. “It might be because they’re caught up in conflict, or maybe their university has physically been attacked, or maybe there were militias interfering with the work of universities,” says Stephen Wordsworth, Cara’s executive director. “Or it may be something they’ve written or said. Essentially, it’s still about helping people who need to get away.”
The fellowship gave al-Bakour the means to escape from Aleppo and, ultimately, to pursue a PhD at Aberdeen University. Up until then, his university experience had mostly been lived under siege. First, as war broke out in 2011, there were demonstrations at Aleppo University against President Bashar al-Assad. The security forces intervened and people disappeared. Did he know what had happened to them? No, he says, he was simply too terrified to ask. Then fighting began. Rebels seized his street and no one in the family dared go out for a month. When they were pushed back, he returned to the university, which was shelled three times. Once, when he and 125 others were taking an exam, shells hit nearby buildings. They ducked under their desks and came out again when they heard the ambulances arrive. Then they were granted 10 minutes’ extra time.
When he arrived in Scotland in late 2016, al-Bakour’s biggest shock was the weather. “It was cold. But even now, after one and a half years, if you ask me, ‘Do you believe you are in Aberdeen?’ I say, ‘No.’ I live with my memories from back home in Syria, and I always have that sustained pressure of thinking and praying and worrying about everyone in my family.”

Over the past couple of months, I have met a number of academics who have been offered similar routes out of their troubled homelands. Yet their stories are strikingly different. For Mohin Rahman (not his real name), death seemed imminent in Bangladesh. In August 2015, an Islamist group called on Rahman, an electronic and telecoms engineering teacher at a university in Dhaka, and 18 others “to prepare for being killed and to have repentance for what [they had] done against religion and their prophet”. Living under virtual house arrest, he slept with a knife under his pillow. “I knew that even if I was to be killed I could protect myself at least for a tiny bit,” he says.

Leila Alieva, 56, is a political scientist from Azerbaijan. She reminds me that she once briefed me on the situation there when I visited the country as a reporter. Today, she has finished her fellowship at St Antony’s College, Oxford. She now has a rare “exceptional talent” visa allowing her to stay in the UK but has yet to find work. “You don’t start looking for a job at my age,” she says. It was never easy being an independent thinker in Azerbaijan, a notoriously authoritarian state with a history of human rights abuses. However, says Alieva, two things in particular made the government paranoid — the 2014 uprising in Ukraine and the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Activists and journalists began to be arrested, with some charged with espionage for Armenia, Azerbaijan’s old enemy. Alieva was accused of being a western “fifth columnist” and, more prosaically, of tax evasion. Her friends told her to flee but she did not want to, not least because
her mother was ill and needed caring for. “You are making a big mistake,” they said. “They intend to arrest everyone.”

She began to study prison conditions and thought: “I might not survive.” Her sick mother was in bed. Alieva told her they were going to Georgia to see doctors, bundled her into the car and that is how her exile began. I don’t need to ask what the darkest moment was for her. It seems too cruel, but it is also obvious. Cara arranged the fellowship in Oxford but she had no money or visa for her mother, who went home to Azerbaijan. They skyped twice a day until one day her mother died of a heart attack as they chatted.

Naif Bezwan, 56, is the first of the academic exiles I meet. The Kurdish political scientist
has been a fellow at University College London since June last year, following his expulsion from Turkey after the failed coup in 2016. Exile has energised him, he says. He and colleagues are working to help other academics from Turkey who have been fired or are in prison. Bezwan is an old hand at this. As an undergraduate in Turkey in the 1980s, he was arrested twice for political activism. Deciding that as a young and ambitious Kurd he had no future in Turkey, he fled to Germany, where he eventually became an  academic. “You had this sense of doing something new and inventing a new world,” he says. By 2014, a peace process of sorts in Turkey had brought a halt to fighting with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and a relaxation of the draconian treatment of Turkey’s Kurds by the government. Bezwan was invited to go back to open a political science department at a university in Mardin in south-eastern Turkey. He recalls his joy at being part of this changed atmosphere. He opened his first lecture with the words “good morning”, not in Turkish (“Günaydın”), the language he was lecturing in, but with the Kurdish “Rojbas”. There were some 50 students in the lecture hall, he says, and for a moment there was utter silence. Then they chorused “Rojbas” back to him. “I explained why it was important, after years of not being in my native country, and being at a university speaking to Kurdish students, to say one word in Kurdish.” He recalls how, during this brief period of Kurdish renaissance, he “did something meaningful
for me and for wider society and for my students”. Then, in January 2016, when fighting had begun again, he signed a peace petition and was immediately suspended for “supporting a terrorist organisation”. The authorities employed a divide and rule strategy. Some faculty members were called upon to take part in investigations of others. The atmosphere turned poisonous. Then came the failed coup attempt in July and in August Turkish troops entered the Syrian fray. Bezwan gave a newspaper interview arguing that Kurds needed unity. He was instantly fired, but other academics were being arrested. Fearing he would be next, he gave a final defiant and unofficial lecture to his students and fled to London, where Cara organised his UCL fellowship.

Wordsworth says applications reached a peak in late 2016, due to a combination of events in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey after the coup. “At that time, we were getting 15-20 inquiries per week.” He explains that Cara is able to carry out its work because it has support from more than 100 universities, who provide places and funding. Despite this generosity, he says, not all of the universities can afford to fund multiple postings, so the challenge is generating extra funds. “There are more people needing help than we can process. With more people, we could do more things,” he says.

61027846-7a15-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d.jpgEthel Maqeda, 46, was not involved in Zimbabwean politics. She taught literature and theatre at Harare University. But her husband was and, when he fled in 2005, she followed. She arrived as a refugee in Barnsley, Yorkshire, with two small children and says her confidence deserted her. “It was cold and dark and I could hardly understand any of the English.” The couple were granted asylum within weeks, but once they got it there were no more benefits and they were utterly on their own. She found an agency that did catering and other jobs. For her, the darkest period was not when she feared arrest or worse but when she ended up in a uniform embroidered with the words “classic cooking”, ladling out lunch to students and then clearing up their mess. Very early on, she says, she understood that she just had to “do what needed to be done”. You can’t dwell on the fact that “you are not at home, the fact that you were this person with a house, life and bank account and with some standing in the community and here you are nothing and you are always broke with barely enough food”. After a year Maqeda’s husband left for South Africa to continue the struggle. By 2010, her first asylum visa had expired; the agency mistakenly said that as her status was now unclear they would not give her any more shifts. She was in debt but enrolled and studying at Sheffield University. She sent her boys, then aged nine and 11, to live with their father. After she was granted a new visa, a fluke meeting changed the entire course of Maqeda’s life. In the street she bumped into another Zimbabwean who told her he was finishing his PhD and mentioned an organisation he had heard of called Cara. She applied and in 2012 began her own PhD on violence in Zimbabwean fiction. Recently, she became an associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.

The fall of Mugabe last November means that Maqeda might actually go home. Though her love is theatre and writing, she helped autistic and dyslexic children as a teaching assistant while studying, and is keen to make use of her knowledge at home. “I had never heard of autism in Zimbabwe,” she says. “I feel that if I went to Zimbabwe, I might make a difference.” This would be in line with Cara’s aims for academics to return if the situation at home improves. For now, with elections round the corner, like many Zimbabweans she is in wait-and-see mode. Eventually, Mohin Rahman would like to go home too. We peer through lab glass windows and he explains the research he is doing into solar power that could revolutionise energy consumption for a country like Bangladesh. But, apart from his being on a death list, he says the problem is that most Bangladeshis are infused with religion and have no time for science. Rahman, 28, was not on the death list for being a scientist but for running a blogging platform. He explains how, a decade ago, blogging was a powerful tool in Bangladesh. “As a nation we are very fond of having group chats and having meaningless talk for hours.” The popularity of these forums was such that some posts were read by a million people. “It was a huge community.” Rahman maintains that his blogs weren’t only focused on politics. “It’s not like we had some special agenda to speak against something. But from the beginnning we were involved in justice activism for the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh.” Between 2013 and 2015, a number of bloggers were murdered, having called for the perpetrators of the genocide to be brought to justice. Initially, Rahman was not worried as, like many, he used a pseudonym. To this day, he cannot work out how his real identity was rumbled. His university and his landlord beefed up security but all he could do was travel from home to class by car and back again. “I was in agony. I was like, ‘Whatever happens happens, if they kill me, they kill me.’ I kind of gave up. It was a dark phase of my life.” On the internet he discovered Cara, which found him an academic home at a university in the Midlands. Did he celebrate when he got the news that he had been a thrown a lifeline from his new university? No, he says. He only felt relief. “We were just waiting to step out of the country.” When Zaher al-Bakour got his British visa from the consulate in Beirut, so he could take up a fellowship in Scotland, he burst into tears. He had begun his masters in Syria, even though there was no money for research. His supervisor was the manager of a pharmaceutical plant, so they did a deal. He would work part-time and do research there. The only catch was that the plant was on the front line on the rebel-held side of the city and what used to be a 15-minute drive was now a 12-hour journey. The best academics had left the university and it also stopped offering PhDs, so al-Bakour was under pressure. Quite apart from regime jets bombing the plant directly three times for no obvious reason, rebels lobbing adapted gas canisters over the line and hitting his home street, and sniping at the street corner, he would be drafted to fight as soon as he finished his masters. He was desperate to find a way out. In search of a job abroad, he sent out 600 emails to pharmaceutical companies round the world and received only two replies, one of which informed him that they would be keeping his CV on file. As we talk, he stops for longer and longer pauses. He starts to bite the knuckle of his thumb. I apologise if I am pushing him too hard. He says that sometimes people in the lab ask him if he is OK. He just feels under huge pressure not to waste the money that has been given to him. The things he has lived through are always “alive in my head”, he says. His sister calls again. What it means to be here, quite apart from simple safety, is that he is again on “the front line” but now of research. “I have to do something that no one else has done and so add something to the field.”

In that speech in 1933, Einstein said that “without freedom there would have been no Shakespeare, no Goethe, no Newton, no Faraday, no Pasteur, no Lister”. With the latest figures showing the number of people driven from their homes now at a record 68.5 million, saving academics trapped by war or evil regimes will remain one small but vital drop in the ocean.

Tim Judah is the author of several books on war. His most recent is ‘In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine’

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TRIAL OF ACADEMICS Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı Sentenced to 1 Year, 3 Months in Prison Without Deferment

Trials of academics, who have been charged with “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” for having signed the declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” prepared by the Academics for Peace, continued in İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse today (June 5).

Emeritus Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University had her third hearing at the 32nd Heavy Penal Court.

The attorney Aynur Tuncel-Yazgan made a written statement on the defense of Ersanlı as to the accusations. The Prosecutor repeated his opinion as to the accusations and demanded that Ersanlı be tried as per the Article No. 7/2 of Anti-Terror Law as he also did at the previous hearing.

Ersanlı said, “I repeat my statement. I demand my acquittal”. Her attorney Aynur Tuncel-Yazgan emphasized that the legal elements of the charges brought against Ersanlı did not arise and requested that a judgment of acquittal be pronounced. Ersanlı stated that she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict.

The court board ruled that Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı shall be sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. The board also ruled that the deferment of the verdict shall not be implemented on the ground that “no opinion as to her avoidance of committing the offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse.” Ersanlı has the right to object to the verdict in seven days.

The court board consisted of the Presiding Judge Ömer Günaydın; Court Members Habibe Ertuğrul and Özgür Erkan; Prosecutor Caner Babaloğlu.

The hearings against signatory academics started on December 5, 2017. As of June 5, 241 academics had their first hearings. 14 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.

What happened?

On January 10, 2016, 1,128 academics published a declaration entitled “We will not be party to this crime” on behalf of the Academics for the Peace initiative. With the participation of further academics, the number of academics who have signed the declaration has reached 2,212.

With the indictment issued by the Prosecutor İsmet Bozkurt, lawsuits were filed against the academics on a charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law No. 3713.

As of June 5, 2018, 241 academics had stood trial since December 5, 2017. 14 of these academics were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison and all of the sentences were suspended, except for those of Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University and Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University.

The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that “she did not demand deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she did not make a statement of penitence.” As for the penalty of Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, it was not deferred on the ground that “no opinion as to her avoidance of committing offense has emerged considering her personality which does not express any remorse.”

On March 10, 2016, the Academics for Peace made a statement for press and shared with the public what they had been going through since the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime” was published. The academics Dr. Lecturer Esra Mungan, Dr. Lecturer Muzaffer Kaya, Assoc. Prof. Dr Kıvanç Ersoy (March 15, 2016) and Dr. Lecturer Meral Camcı (March 31, 2016), who read out the above-mentioned statement for the press, were arrested on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” as per the Article No. 7/2 of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law. They were released on April 2016. Upon the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice granted a permission of trial as per the Article No. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 301 on charges of “insulting the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey and the institutions and organs of the government.” The lawsuits still continue. (BK/SD)

Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı, who has been tried for having signed the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime”, has been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. The prison sentence of Ersanlı has not been deferred. http://m.bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/197870-prof-dr-busra-ersanli-sentenced-to-1-year-3-months-in-prison-without-deferment

Joint Submission Shadow Report to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) presented at THE 2018 EHEA MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE in Paris

Academics for Peace
Centre for Democracy and Peace Research
Research Institute on Turkey

May 2018

Table of Contents: I. Reporting Organizations…………………………… II. Introduction and Issue Summary: Academic Freedom Violations in Turkey……. III. Disciplinary Investigations of Academics by University Administrations………. IV. Prosecutorial Investigations of Academics and the Lack of Due Process…… V. Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) …………

Contact in France: contact@solidarite-up.org

I. Reporting Organizations:

This report is a joint submission from the following non-profit organizations and initiatives:

Academics for Peace (AfP) is an initiative founded in November 2012 in the aftermath of a statement that supported Kurdish prisoners’ demands for peace in Turkey, which they voiced through a hunger-strike. The statement was signed by 264 academics from over 50 universities. In their first meeting in December 2012, Academics for Peace decided to work for a peace process in Turkey and to contribute to it by producing knowledge and information on topics like processes of peace and conflict, practices of peace-making, women’s role in the peace process, education in native languages and the destruction of the environment through war. Between the years 2013 and 2016 Academics for Peace signed petitions, organized meetings including one with several members of the Wise People Committee- a committee that the government tasked for meeting with people to learn about their expectations from peace- and published reports on their activities. The members of Academics for Peace also contributed to the peace process by writing in newspapers that compared Turkey’s process with other cases in the world and have at numerous times announced their willingness and readiness to actively participate in the process. However today, what is known as the Academics for Peace are the signatories of the petition “We will not be a party to this crime!” which was publicized in January 2016 and include a plurality and a size that go much beyond these previous works. https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/

Centre for Democracy and Peace Research (CDPR) aims to promote the advancement of education and human rights in the UK, Turkey and elsewhere. CDPR supports academics and researchers based in higher education institutions and NGOs as well as independent researchers; scholars facing risks and threats as a result of the content of their work, their status as academics or as a result of their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of assembly and academics and researchers with a clear commitment to organization’s ethical values and objectives. http://cdpr.org.uk/

Research Institute on Turkey (RIT) is a New York-based non-profit organization that consists of an interdisciplinary group of researchers, artists, writers, architects, scientists and activists who explore and engage in commonization practices for social change in Turkey. RIT is an active member and an organizer within the international community focusing on the current academic crisis. It has team members who are academics in the US, Canada and Germany. Through events and collaborations, it aims to raise awareness within the academic community in North America. http://www.riturkey.org

II. Introduction and Issue Summary: Academic Freedom Violations in Turkey

Turkey is witnessing a dangerous escalation under the influence and pressure exerted by political and social power elites on its universities. Students and faculty members are being taken under custody and arrested; research is hindered through a variety of obstacles; faculty members are subjected to judicial and administrative investigations; and the security and vulnerability of academic staff are heightened by the commercialization of university education. Violations of human rights and of speech and academic freedoms in Turkey have certainly reached unprecedented levels following the Academics for Peace Initiative’s declaration through a 2016 petition, “We will not be a party to this crime.”

This report aims to illustrate the current speech and academic freedom violations in Turkey via a compilation of de jure and de facto violations of rights that academics and researchers faced following the press conference on January 11, 2016. The declaration of the Academics for Peace (Barış İçin Akademisyenler, BAK) entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” was signed by 1128 academics, a majority of whom work in institutions of higher education in Turkey, and it was made public on January 11, 2016 in two press conferences held simultaneously in Ankara and Istanbul. In the days following the press conference, signatories from 89 universities across Turkey faced accusations such as “supporters of terror”, “traitors”, “straw or copy intellectuals” in public statements made by the President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over national broadcast networks, as well as several other government authorities, such as the Council of Higher Education (CoHE), the Inter-university Council, and by various university presidents.[1] Nonetheless, one thousand more academics joined in signing the declaration, almost doubling the original number to 2212. Lynchings against signatories took place in several university towns, in the form of numerous threats, intimidation and targeting, putting the life of the academics at risk. [2],[3],[4] Some of the university administrations initiated disciplinary interrogations for signatories, some taking extralegal action such as firing, “preventive suspension,” or banning the signatories to enter university campus, thus violating the right to work of many professors, associate and assistant professors, teaching assistants, lecturers and researchers. [5],[6] In several cases individual academics were called to the local police or the prosecutor’s office to give their statement about why they had signed the declaration. The whole process reflected the further deterioration and dissolution of freedom of expression, academic autonomy and freedom in Turkey[7]. The signatories are being brought to court under Article 7 of the Anti-terror Law (Terörle Mücadele Kanunu, TMK) for “propagandizing in favor of the terrorist organization” and/or under the Articles 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (Türk Ceza

Kanunu, TCK) for “insulting Turkishness.”.

[1] News from the Guardian: http://goo.gl/EjcfT9 [2] Scholars At Risk Academic Freedom Monitor: http://goo.gl/7Szcyr [3] Nature magazine news: http://goo.gl/bgBj9L [4] The Washington Post News: https://goo.gl/qzsv4p [5] Science magazine news: http://goo.gl/Ovol77 [6] Amnesty International declaration: https://goo.gl/JPqBIH [7] International Human Right Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies Declaration: http://goo.gl/vVI1aL

III. Disciplinary Investigations of Academics by University Administrations:

Immediately following the release of the petition, the presidents of the majority of the universities considered the statements of the President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Higher Education (CoHE), and Inter-University Council as mandate, and without any legal basis started disciplinary investigation processes against the signatories. Through these measures, many academics faced dismissals, forced resignations and retirements, preventive suspensions, suspension from administrative duty and disciplinary investigations-measures which have violated academics’ rights to work.
Academics for Peace has reported 154 incidents involving dismissal, resignation and forced retirement. 101 academics have seen preventive suspension, while 7 suspended from administrative duty. Rights violations have also involved disciplinary investigations launched by university authorities, reported in 505 incidents. In 112 reported incidents, university authorities have asked the CoHE the dismissal of academics from public service, pending approval.
The majority of the signatories hold posts at public universities, where employee personal rights are defined within the scope of the Law on Civil Servants (No. 657) and Law on Higher Education (No. 2547). Of the first 1128 signatories, 216 worked at universities that were owned by a private foundation. The academics who work at these universities are among those who most frequently faced dismissal from work or were forced to resign by the university administrations. Some were forced to resign on the very same day when the press release was made (January 11, 2016). Instances of dismissal from work, rapidly increasing especially at foundation/private universities, result from the fact that job security is very limited at these institutions. Many of these academics faced disciplinary investigations, suspension from work, death threats, indicting a lack of life and work security in the public universities.

IV. Dismissals by the State of Emergency Decree-Laws and Criminal Proceedings against Academics for Peace

386 signatories have been listed in the state of emergency decrees dismissed from their positions and banned from public service for life. The dismissals are on the generalized grounds found in the decrees, that those dismissed are “connected to, or affiliated to a terrorist organization”. There is no any court ruling, any prior investigation, any individualized justification or evidence being provided.
The decree-laws have effectively barred academics from exercising their right to work. First of all, they have effectively eliminated future academic employment prospects within Turkey, as personnel listed in the decree orders are banned for life from taking civil service positions. Moreover, other employment prospects for these academics have also proved nearly impossible as they have been labelled as “supporters of terrorism” by the public authorities, triggering a serious discrimination process against them and keeping employers from considering these academics as candidates for employment. Furthermore, academic employment prospects abroad have also been eliminated, as the dismissed academics have had their passports invalidated indefinitely. Hence, they have been stripped off their right to perform their jobs as well as the financial and intellectual conditions required for academic production.
There is no any effective national remedy for the academics affected by the emergency decrees. The administrative courts, appeal courts and the Constitutional Court delivered identical decisions, according to which the courts in Turkey cannot make any rulings over the state of emergency decrees. Thousands of academics applied to the very recently established State of Emergency Appeal Commission. The Turkish Ad Hoc Commission lacks the independence because of the way its members are appointed under the control of the government. It is also very ineffective. Until today, the Commission has reviewed only a very tiny fraction of the huge number of applications filed.
There are thousands of applications filed against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights. Most of them are applications filed by the individuals adversely affected by the state of emergency measures, including the applications by Academics for Peace.
First criminal proceedings against those who signed the petition were initiated against four signatories who read a second press statement of Academics for Peace on March 10, 2016. This statement condemned the persecution of signatory academics and affirmed signatories’ commitment to the wording of the petition of January 2016. Subsequently, these signatories were arrested and kept on remand for 40 days. Since March 2016, the criminal proceedings against them are still pending.

In October 2017, other signatories of the petition started to receive subpoenas, summoning them to the court with an accusation of carrying out terrorist propaganda. As of May 2018, more than 260 signatories are individually indicted before the Assize Courts with an indictment identical except for individual identity information. The charges in the indictments are not substantiated by factual evidences, the allegations are inconsistent and distort the facts of the petition. A good example of this is the translation in Turkish of the translation in English of the initial petition text. The retranslation involves an error that is subsequently used in the accusations. In fact, the English text mentions “Kurdish villages” while its retranslation in Turkish by the prosecutorial office uses an expression in Turkish meaning “Kurdistan villages”. This change is used in the text as a proof the hidden intentions behind the petition.
Until today 13 academics have their judgments delivered, the courts of first instances found the academics guilty for “carrying out terrorist propaganda” and sentenced them to 15 months of imprisonment. 12 of these academics have accepted to resort to the mechanism of the deferment of the announcement of the verdict where the perpetrator does not become punished under certain conditions, but the qualification of the crime becomes officialised. For one signatory that has refused the application of this mechanism, the Court had rejected the suspension of the punishment upon the grounds that she had not exhibited any expression of remorse. This academic has applied to the Court for Appeal and she faces the risk of imprisonment. The first case before the Court of Appeal will probably create a strong judicial precedent that will be highly persuasive while the decisions are made in the future cases against the other signatories.

V. Measures were taken by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK)

The government-controlled Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) has played a dishonourable but active part in the witch hunt that has caused and is still causing serious harm to hundreds of academics in Turkey, who lost their jobs and livelihoods by:
(a) terminating existing grants to and rejecting funding applications by Academics for Peace;
(b) terminating the scholarships to PhD students who signed the Academics for Peace declaration while researching in universities outside Turkey;
(c) forcing funded PhD students to submit statements on their research with a view to ensure that their research does not harm national interests;
(d) forcing Academics for Peace signatories to withdraw their names from published or underreview work that it had funded in the past;
(e) forcing its scientific journals to fire Academics for Peace signatories from their editorial boards;
(e) stopping printing books on the theory of evolution and increasing support for shady ‘research’ projects that champion creationism.

It should be noted that in April 2017 the French science foundation CNRS recommended that actions be taken against TÜBİTAK, a decision that has unfortunately remained unfollowed. The link to the decision of the CNRS is http://www.cnrs.fr/comitenational/cs/cs_acc.htm .

May 2018: Shadow Report to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

Joint Submission Shadow Report to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) presented at THE 2018 EHEA MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE in Paris

Academics for Peace – Centre for Democracy and Peace Research – Research Institute on Turkey

May 2018

Table of Contents:

I.Reporting Organizations……………………………
II. Introduction and Issue Summary: Academic Freedom Violations in Turkey…….
III. Disciplinary Investigations of Academics by University Administrations……….
IV. Prosecutorial Investigations of Academics and the Lack of Due Process……
V. Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) …………

 

 

ACADEMICS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS NEWSLETTER OF THE “SUPPORTING ACADEMICS AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ACTOR IN A CHALLENGING CONTEXT” PROJECT

“…Through its newsletter “Academics for Human Rights”, the Project aims to provide updated information on human rights violations against academics in Turkey and disseminate Project outcomes, raising awareness on both national and international scales to help strengthen solidarity for taking an effective stance against human rights violations in Turkey’s academia. This first Newsletter focuses on the “Peace Petition Affair”, the ongoing threats to Academics for Peace and resulting human rights violations from January 2016 to March 2018.” Read More

We can win their freedom.

Amnesty International Australia
Speak up now

Students in prison for protesting against war.

Ten uni students in Turkey are in prison for ‘shouting slogans and holding banners’ at a peaceful anti-Syrian war protest.

The Turkish courts have accused them of ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’ and these young people may face up to five years in prison.

Peaceful protest is a human right – call for the students’ immediate release.

The situation in Turkey for human rights defenders is volatile. But when thousands of Amnesty supporters take action for people unfairly imprisoned, we can win their freedom.

Just last year, within months of Turkey unjustly imprisoning a group of human rights defenders, hundreds of thousands of you signed petitions and emailed Turkey’s authorities in protest. By October these people were released and once again with their families and friends, thanks to your efforts.

I know that if we can create enough pressure on Turkey’s authorities, these 10 students can also be released.

I’ve already signed the petition – can you join me?

Rose_Kulak_Campaigner_Amnesty_International

 

 

Open letter to the participants of the conference “Contextualizing Islamophobia: Its Impact on Culture and Global Politics”

Dear colleagues,

We are writing to you as your colleagues and Academics for Peace scholars from Turkey to inform you about the exclusionary nature of the conference, “Contextualizing Islamophobia: Its Impact on Culture and Global Politics,” organized by Istanbul Zaim University. As a speaker of the conference, we would like to draw your attention to the issues of academic repression in Turkey as well as the politics of this very conference.

The conference you will attend represents a site of privilege and exclusion in today’s Turkish academia. There are scholars in the country equally critical of Islamophobia like the participants of the conference, but if they have not been already dismissed from their positions by the government (https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/2018/01/sar-turkey-letter-january-2018/), they still cannot make it to this privileged site because of their critical positions vis-à-vis the Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s regime. In other words, they hold a very difficult position of being critical of both Islamophobia at the global stage and the authoritarian regime of the AKP that keeps an Islamic veneer. The latter’s populism has led to belligerent policies, causing further violence and destruction in the Middle East. Equally troubling is the fact that the conference is supported and funded by the Turkish government and other pro-government entities who have long been instrumentalizing postcolonial research and discussions on Islamophobia for their authoritarian agenda.

We, as a group of the signatories of the Peace Declaration asking the AKP government to return to peace with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), hope that you will cease co-operation with Turkish government entities that aim to co-opt and utilize your invaluable scholarship to legitimize their authoritarian agendas.

Please note that this is not necessarily a call to boycott the event. We have a list of universities that are complicit in criminalizing and dismissing us from our positions (https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/) and the host of the conference, Istanbul Zaim University (IZU), is not one of them. Yet, I hope that you will publicly question why most of the attendees from Istanbul are either state representatives, from pro-state NGOs, or from IZU. What kinds of silencing mechanisms are taking place even at that conference, which aims to bring a critical perspective to a global issue, that hurt academic freedoms in Turkey and beyond? How can the participants of this conference be content with aligning with an increasingly authoritarian regime unless they hold them accountable for the increasing human rights abuses in Turkey?

Moreover  unfortunately, Istanbul Zaim University has never refrained from lending support to Erdoğan’s repressive policies and issued support for police brutality against students at the Middle East Technical University years ago. Istanbul Zaim University is supported by Erdogan’s senior advisers who  play a key role in the Turkish government’s co-optation of Islamophobia and they have also constantly attacked the academics for peace, providing well-articulated defenses to the blatant abuses of power as necessary measures.

I hope you will reconsider your attendance at this conference. If you are unable to do that, we hope that we can at least count on you to voice publicly these aforementioned questions and concerns of ours during the conference.

Many thanks for your consideration.

In solidarity,

Academics for Peace

 

Do Not Be A Party To The Crimes Of Mersin University

We are dismissed academics from Mersin University. It has been brought to our attention that Mersin University is organizing a conference, entitled “International Symposium on Communication in Digital Age” and will be held on October 18-19, 2018 in Mersin University, Turkey. We call upon academic community not to participate in this conference.

Please allow us to explain the reason behind our call.  In January 2016, 2,212 academics working in or researching on Turkey signed a declaration calling on the Turkish government to end the war in the Kurdish region, seek a peaceful resolution of the decades-long Kurdish question. Since then, the signatories, who came to be known as Academics for Peace, have been subjected to vindictive and punitive attacks ordered by the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and implemented through joint effort by the government and the higher education establishment. Mersin University is one of the complicit universities in Turkey, which have been party of the lynching campaign against the Academics for Peace, the dismissal and the purge of the signatories of peace declaration. More precisely, Mersin University is “at the top of the list of Turkish Universities that have acted punitively, targeting petition signatories with dismissal in violation of academic freedom and without regard to basic procedural protections”. First, the university presidency has not extended the contracts of 15 academicians for having signed the peace declaration. Very shortly after the declaration of peace petition, 5 of the scholars among the signatories of the petition have faced and are still facing threat of criminal investigation, prosecution and even prison sentences for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression. And after that, on 29th of April, 21 signatories of the peace declaration from Mersin University – including the academics, who already lost their position in Mersin University as well- have been listed in an emergency decree, banned from public services. Their passports have been cancelled as well. Mersin University Faculty of Communication, which will be the host of this symposium, has been actively involved in the arbitrary punitive acts of the University and has fired 4 Peace Academicians (3 of them twice), thus violating the rights of freedom of expression and academic freedom. Also, the students of Mersin University have been facing the threats, disciplinary charges and criminal investigations regularly.

Therefore, as Academics for Peace from Mersin University, we call on all institutions, academicians and academic and professional associations to boycott the “International Symposium on Communication in Digital Age”. Previously a number of international speakers withdrew from conferences in Turkey in protest against the persecution of academics (please see below public statements of Prof. Stef Craps,  Ghent University, and Belgium Prof. Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London, UK). We would very much appreciate it if you could decline your participation in the conference, organized by Mersin University. Taking a part in this boycott means that you will stand for academic freedom and help the academics and students in Turkey for their struggle to have access to civic rights, public spheres and even the right to life.

With kind regards

Academics for Peace from Mersin University

International Keynote Speakers Withdraw from Turkish Conference

Prof. Stef Craps and Prof. Roger Luckhurst’s letter to Ege University

As much as we were looking forward to giving keynote lectures and interacting with colleagues at “Narratives of Trauma”, the 16th International Cultural Studies Symposium to be held at Ege University in Izmir from 10 to 12 May 2017, we have decided to reconsider our participation in the light of recent political developments in Turkey, particularly the worsening attacks on academic freedom.
We accepted the invitation to speak at this conference many months ago, in a very different climate. Since then, and especially in the immediate run-up to the conference, we have heard testimonies from sacked or silenced academics inside Turkey and those in exile around the world. They have made it clear to us just how dire the situation has become. We are deeply troubled by the treatment meted out to the signatories of the Academics for Peace petition, many of whom have lost their jobs, pensions, and right to travel abroad, all because they asked the Turkish government to stop killing Kurdish civilians and return to peace negotiations with the Kurdish rebels. Ege University has recently targeted signatory scholars among its faculty, which strikes us as contrary to the principles of an academic institution or a healthy civil society.
We take the decision to withdraw from this conference with a heavy heart, but we do not want to be seen to be normalizing an unacceptable situation by carrying on with academic business as usual. Standing in solidarity with the victims of the academic purges sweeping Turkey today, we wish to redirect attention to their narratives of trauma and call on the Turkish authorities to reinstate them and respect academic freedom.

Prof. Stef Craps, Ghent University, Belgium
Prof. Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck, University of London, UK”

You can find further reactions of the international academic community to the Turkish government and its complicit universities at https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/news/

 

Trade Unions Are Under Attack In Turkey!

The executive officers of Tüm Bel-Sen (Union of All Municipality Civil Servants) and Egitim-Sen (Education and Science Workers’ Union) in Izmir, Turkey are being held in custody for the last 6 days.

Tüm Bel-Sen (Union of All Municipality Civil Servants) and Egitim-Sen (Education and Science Workers’ Union) are two unions that are members of KESK ( Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions in Turkey). This is the first and one of the largest confederation of civil servants’ unions and represents the rights of public workers and teachers.

The ruling party AKP (Justice and Development Party), through its use of the State of Emergency (famously abbreviated as “OHAL” in Turkish) has been working on eliminating and purging all opposition institutions and movements for the last two years in Turkey. The government is increasing its pressure on the unions as well. We request that you help us bring these illegal actions to the attention of the international public and support the struggle of unions against the institutionalization of a one-man regime in Turkey.

We are doing a twitter campaign on Thursday, March 22, 2018 with the hashtag #TurkeyFreeTradeUnionists at the following times:

22:03 pm Turkish time

19:03 pm British time

18:03 pm Germany time

13:03 USA  Eastern time

Unionization is a right!

Free Çağdaş Yazıcı, the President of Tüm Bel-Sen Chamber 1, İzmir

Free Recep Temel, Executive Secretary of Tüm Bel-Sen Chamber 1, İzmir

Free İdil Uğurlu, The Women  Secretary of Eğitim Sen Chamber 6, İzmir

Free Abdülkerim Akdeniz, member of Egitim-Sen

#TurkeyFreeTradeUnionists 

Tüm Bel-Sen Chamber 1, İzmir

 

Akademiker im heiligen Dreieck

Deutschland ist das erste Ziel für verfolgte türkische Akademiker*innen. Ihre Kritik an Universität und Gesellschaft hört aber auch hier nicht auf. Read more

Sanctuary scholarships could protect academics targeted by Turkey

Stephen Reicher, professor of social psychology at St Andrews, went to Istanbul this week to observe a court case involving a former colleague who is one of hundreds of people charged with signing a petition asking Turkey to end violence against Kurds. Read more

Scientists on Trial

In 2016 there was an attempted coup in Turkey. This led to many people who the government saw as opposition figures being sacked from their jobs and in some cases held without trial. They include prominentintellectuals, medics and scientists. In recent days there has been a similar crackdown on people voicing criticism of Turkey’s current military actions in Syria.
Stephen Reichter, Professor of Psychology at St Andrews University has been to Turkey to observe the trial of one of his former colleagues.
He tells us what he saw and discusses the wider issues for science.

It’s the 60 years since the launch of Explorer 1 and the discovery of the Van Allen Belts. This was the satellite the US launched in response to Sputnik. However unlike Sputnik it did undertake scientific exploration, its findings have been significant for every space mission that followed.

Using DNA sequencing scientists have found that the ‘Two Brothers’ mummies at the Manchester Museum have different fathers so are, in fact, half-brothers. Khnum-nakht and Nakht-ankh – date to around 1800 BC. Ever since their discovery in 1907 there has been some debate amongst Egyptologists on whether the two were actually related at all. DNA was extracted from their teeth to solve the mystery.

And the science of the Archers, a current storyline involves leaks of industrial chemicals illegally buried on a farm many years ago. We’ll be looking behind the scenes to see where the story came from and how the world’s longest running soap opera ensures scientific accuracy.

This week’s programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell as Adam is away. Listen Now

Professor Reicher on Turkey

Thursday 01 February 2018

This week Steve Reicher, Professor of Social Psychology, was in Istanbul as an observer under the auspices of the International Society for Political Psychology at the trial of an academic colleague accused of terrorist propaganda by the Turkish Government.

This is his personal first-hand account. Names have been changed for the safety of those involved.


turkey-protests-feature
I am sitting in Court room 32 of Istanbul’s fortress-like High Court, observing the trial of a young colleague, Ekren. She is one of several people on trial today, fellow academics, journalists, even someone who wrote a short story in which the government was described as a ‘dragon’. Apparently that is enough to have been taken before the criminal bench.

Until she walked into the room Ekren didn’t even know what she was charged with. Now, she is told: terrorist propaganda. If found guilty she faces over seven years in prison.

Ekren is a most unlikely terrorist or propagandist. She is a young social psychologist, a friend and a collaborator who – like me – is interested in group behaviour and processes of intergroup conflict. Two years ago, in early 2016, she was one of 1128 academics who signed a ‘peace petition’ which condemned the Turkish government’s attack on the Kurds for widespread attacks on civilians and humanitarian abuses, and for fomenting further violence. Ekren was not a radical, let alone a seasoned activist. She simply despaired at the unfolding tragedy in her country and felt that something had to be said about it.

The response of President Erdogan was swift and extreme. He denounced the signatories as anti-Turkish and as terrorist sympathisers, if not terrorists themselves. He then sought to get them sacked from their jobs. With deliberate ambiguity he called on all Universities to do whatever was necessary to deal with the signatories. Those working in public Universities were immediately dismissed as were some in private Universities. But other private University administrations stood up to this blatant assault on academic freedom and refused to do the President’s bidding.

It wasn’t just that people were dismissed. They were denied the right ever to work in the public sector and details of their dismissals were put on their social security files to make it very hard to get any sort of job. They had their pension rights removed. They had their passports removed. They were denied any access to benefits or state services. Aisha, another colleague who was sacked, has a five year old son. When he was ill, she couldn’t use public hospitals. She had to take him to a private clinic. But she had no income. Aisha has had to sell up to keep going. She and her family survive, just. For now.

But the effect of Erdogan’s attacks is not just financial. It is psychological. Another young psychologist, Alisan, lost his research assistantship after signing the petition. He speaks of the isolation. Many of his past colleagues are afraid to be associated with him. He feels stigmatised. The networks that once sustained him are gone. The organisation ‘Academics for Peace’, which originated the petition, has approached the Turkish Psychological Association asking for mental health support for the signatories. Many are depressed. Many are anxious. Already there have been three suicides from amongst them.

The whole strategy against those academics who criticised Erdogan is to take their academic identities away and turn them into non-persons. Now he is taking the strategy one step further – from taking away people’s livelihoods to threatening their freedom. Beginning last December legal proceedings were started against the peace signatories. Ekren still has her job thanks to a brave administration, but she is in the first wave of those being charged.

In order to ensure that the government cannot act in the shadows, Academics for Peace has asked for international observers to come to the courtroom. We can show those on trial that they are not forgotten, that they are valued colleagues. If Erdogan wants to make them non-persons we, by contrast, can help them know that they matter as part of a broad academic community. Ekren is particularly passionate on this point. ‘Get people to come,’ she says, ‘when there are people who are watching, it makes a difference. It sustains us.’

We can also shine an international spotlight on what is going on so that Erdogan is made accountable for his actions. Will it make any difference to government policy? It is hard to say. But Ekren’s lawyer makes another point. ‘Without your presence,’ she says, ‘the judges are rude to us, they interrupt us, it is hard for us to be heard. However, when you are there they are much more polite and our voice does get through. The judges do at least have to appear as if they have respect for the rule of law.’

In the end, Ekren’s hearing is brief. The court rejects an application to dismiss the charge on the basis that there is no evidence. The dossier against Ekren simply contains the text of the peace petition and a commentary on this text. It does not show any connection to any ‘terrorist’ organisation, which is the basis of the charge. It doesn’t because it cannot. There is no connection. But the court does give Ekren time to prepare her defence. This too is part of a strategy: keep people off guard, make them feel vulnerable, incapable of acting, certainly unable to question the government.

What is going on in Turkey is a situation where the right to be critical of the state is being destroyed, where academic freedom is all but gone and where an independent civil society becomes impossible. As if to underline this, the night before Ekren’s trial, police broke into the houses of 11 leaders of the Turkish Medical Association and took them into custody. The Association had issued a declaration in response to the recent Turkish incursion into Northern Syria. They made the seemingly self-evident statement that war is a disaster for human welfare. But in today’s Turkey simple truths are too much for the government. Erdogan called the Association ‘terrorists’. He described them as ‘filth’. He removed their liberty.

Perhaps I personally am particularly sensitive to these issues and particularly attuned to the val

ue of academic solidarity. My grandfather and great uncle managed to leave Nazi German

y and come to the UK through the support of the Academic Assistance Council, precursor of today’s Council for at Risk Academics (CARA). But I think what is happening in Turkey, and the plight suffered by our friends and colleagues should be of concern to all academics and all those who value academic freedom.

In the next few weeks we will be discussing with our colleagues in Turkey and with our academic associations (we went to Turkey under the auspices of the International Society for Political Psychology) what can best be done to help them. Ideas include an emergency fund for people like Aisha; sanctuary scholarships for those who can leave the country and academic collaborations for those who are able to work inside Turkey; honorary appointments to sustain academic affi

turkey-protests-mainbody

liations – and a host of other ideas besides. When we have worked out the priorities we will post further information. Meanwhile if anyone wants to know more – or do more – please contact me on sdr@st-andrews.ac.uk.


Steve Reicher
Professor of Social Psychology
School of Psychology & Neuroscience

solidarity with academics.jpgErdoğan attack sparks fears over future of Turkish universities

Mr Erdoğan has said that he wants to raise a religiously “pious generation” and has shifted the school curriculum away from secularist content. Janroj Yilmaz Keles, a research fellow at Middlesex University with a focus on Turkey and Kurds, said that the president wished to impose these ideas on universities and academics as well. Read More

Peace Petition Signatory Prof. Mehmet Ugur “The hunger strikers had a simple demand: they wanted their jobs back!”

Purged academics, particularly those targeted because of their criticism of the Turkish government’s hostility towards its own Kurdish people and its neighbours, expect and call upon the international community to stand for democracy and human rights. The rationale for this expectation can be summarised under three points.

 

  1. We are deeply concerned that European and international organisations that have risen out of the ashes of the World War II to defend democracy, human rights and peace are showing clear signs of dysfunctionality, which may lead to marginalisation over time. Clearly, the European institutions have been ineffective in forcing European governments to uphold democratic values at home and take a stance against rising authoritarianism in Europe and beyond. Read More

Turkey’s politically motivated trials: Targeting Academics for Peace

Since January 2016 the Academics for Peace case has become one of the symbols of the crackdown on democracy in Turkey.

No critical voices are spared in the repression: MPs, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, students and many others are detained and/or have been prosecuted for their opinions and activities.

Each week brings new politically-motivated trials, where anonymous citizens and prominent figures of Turkey’s political and cultural life are faced with the most serious of criminal charges. Fundamental rights are put in the dock and go on trial and systematically abused. The week beginning 4 December was no exception, with trials targeting Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) politicians, dozens of journalists and the first hearings of scholars connected to Academics for Peace.  Read More

Open Letter to European Sociological Association

Dear Colleagues,

We have sadly become aware of an ESA Summer School in  Ankara from 27-30 June 2018. The call for papers and other information suggests that the Summer School will be held in and/or organised by Ankara University.

We consider this as a misinformed and misconceived decision that at least trivializes and at worst legitimizes the complicity of Ankara University in the massive violations of academic freedoms in Turkey. As documented by members of Academics for Peace forced to leave Turkey and their friends internationally, Ankara University is one of the worst offenders  in the witch-hunt against academics. In this deplorable mission, it has been led by the Vice-Chancellor, Erkan İbiş, who has also been involved in corruption and nepotism (please see these links for MESA letters exposing Mr Ibiş’s activities https://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20170112-A.pdfhttps://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20170208.pdfhttps://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20170216_B.pdf).

As signatories of the Academics for Peace living in Europe and North America, we are gravely concerned about two dangerous consequence of holding the Summer School in Ankara.

First, even if the organisers in Turkey subscribe to the principles of academic freedom individually, they are not in a position to uphold these principles. Hence, candidates who propose work on so-called sensitive issues (e.g., state crimes, Kurdish history and society, critical assessment of political Islam, etc.) are not likely to be selected even if they satisfy the selection criteria. The evidence form Koc University  clearly demonstrates that academics working on ‘sensitive issues’ are not welcome to conferences or workshops in Turkey.

Secondly, and even if the first condition does not hold, none of the participants to the Summer School will be safe in Ankara University. The latter is known for tolerating nationalist/racist/religious thugs, who have been involved in mobbing critical academics and informing on lecturers. In addition, participants working on ‘sensitive issues’ or presenting work that is critical of current policy and practice in Turkey, will be faced with the risk of hostility from and probable harassment by other participants who support the current regime. Unfortunately, this climate of intolerance to and hostility towards dissent is fostered by all state institutions and the universities are complicit in its implementation.

For these two reasons, we call on ESA to cancel the proposed Summer School immediately. Unless we hear from you within 2 weeks to that effect, we will have no option but to inform the international academic community of the risks that the Summer School poses to their students.

Kind regards

Academics For Peace UK,

Academics For Peace Germany,

Academics For Peace France,

Academics For Peace North America

http://academicboycottofturkey.net

18ocak2018_en.jpg

Akademiker im heiligen Dreieck

Deutschland ist das erste Ziel für verfolgte türkische Akademiker*innen. Ihre Kritik an Universität und Gesellschaft hört aber auch hier nicht auf. Read more

ARTICLE 19: Turkey: Academics for Peace trials violate free expression

ARTICLE 19 calls for the charges to be immediately dropped against all the signatories of the “Academics for Peace” petition and for anti-terror legislation to be reformed in line with international human rights standards.

A petition entitled “We will not be a party to this crime” was issued in January 2016 and garnered over one thousand signatures by academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad. The petition condemned government policy towards the Kurdish regions in Turkey and highlighted human rights violations occurring in the area. It further called for a reopening of the negotiations over the conflict in the South East. The Turkish authorities argue that the petition amounts to terrorist propaganda.

“There is a total lack of evidence against the Academics. Nothing in the petition can be understood as likely to incite violence or terrorism”, said Katie Morris, Head of Europe and Central Asia at ARTICLE 19. “It is clear that the Turkish authorities are abusing anti-terror legislation to silence critical voices”, she added.

The trials of 146 of the signatories started on 5 December 2017 and while the indictment is identical for each defendant, the cases are being dealt with separately. Trials of four other defendants started in April 2016. Twenty-seven of those charged for signing the petition were detained in January 2016 and later released on bail. Other signatories have been dismissed from their positions, threatened or pressured to resign. Read More

UCU campaign briefing on academic freedom in Turkey

What is happening in Turkey?
In January 2016, 1128 academics published a Peace Petition which called on the Turkish government to end its military campaign in the country’s south-east. President Erdogan denounced the signatories as terrorists , and those who signed the petition have been targeted with numerous investigations, dismissals and prosecutions Read More
——————————————

SOLIDARITY ACADEMIES

The following suggestions by Solidarity Academies are of critical importance, considering all the pressures and curbs encountered in scientific and academic work by academics dismissed by statutory decrees, or, in some cases, while still employed.

  • Solidarity Academies need to be recognized as formal entities without additional accreditation requirements.
  • The members of Solidarity Academies need to be authorized as project partners and/or principal investigators in international scientific research
  • Solidarity Academies may establish affiliations with relevant institutions. Such relations  might be cultivated through the means of consortia to be formed by universities and institutions outside Turkey.
  • The fact that many academics in Turkey are unable to travel abroad, and some strive to continue their research in Turkey should be taken into account during the process of organising and planning scholarships and funds. Therefore, the scholarship and funding policies need to be revised.
  • The postgraduate students who are signatories have been prevented from graduating from their programmes while either taking courses or writing their theses/dissertations in Turkey. These students need to be supported by means of distance education programs, academic supervision, and/or any other possible opportunities.
  • Solidarity Academies can be provided with free unlimited access to scientific databases, search engines, online catalogues of libraries of the universities and institutions in your network.
  • The academics dismissed by statutory decrees can be granted the opportunity to deliver part-time courses and seminars using online platforms.
  • These academics could be granted the opportunity to attend scientific and academic meetings and conferences by means of online tools, considering that many are not able to leave the country.
  • Considering the current social, cultural, and economic conditions in Turkey, the universities and institutions in your network are expected to understand and appreciate the fact that some academics experience difficulty in learning and/or improving a foreign language. Therefore language courses can be delivered to those academics online and with no or minimal charge.
  • Because of the current political atmosphere and conditions in Turkey, basic human rights, such as freedom of thought and expression, and academic freedoms are under great risk. This situation is becoming increasingly worse. Therefore, the universities and institutions in your network can put this fact on their agenda on an international scale, raise objections, and support the boycott as much as possible: https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/

 All these activities should be organized in coordination with Solidarity Academies. // Nov. 2017

Web page       :https://www.dayanismaakademileri.org

E-mail             :info@dayanismaakademileri.org

 

Call for solidarity for the academics for peace on trial

Violations of academic freedom and freedom of speech in Turkey have reached a dire situation.  The intimidations from Turkish government and its affiliates toward academics have escalated to legal action, whereby peace signatory academics face 7.5 years’ imprisonment if convicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

In January 2016, 1128 academics signed the Peace Petition, titled ‘We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime’ in order to draw the public’s attention to the brutal acts of violence perpetrated by the state in the Kurdish regions of Turkey.  Immediately after the release of the petition, many signatories were prosecuted, dismissed from their posts, and their citizenship rights were seized. A large number of academics including Nobel Prize laureates and members of major science academies around the world initiated a support campaign nationally and internationally. People from different professions, such as journalists, artists, screen actors and actresses, and writers voiced their support for the persecuted academics. More people signed the petition, yet the suppression on the signatory academics got fiercer; hundreds of more academics were dismissed with statutory decrees, their passports were confiscated, they were banned from public sector employment, and criminal investigations were launched. Many of those academics had to leave the country and are now facing extreme difficulties in re-settling their lives and professions. One of the signatory academics –Mehmet Fatih Traş– could not stand this injustice and committed suicide. The declaration of state of emergency in July 2016 after a military coup attempt further blurred the distinction between criminal investigations and political punishment, and opened an arduous and painful avenue for not only the academics but also for journalists, writers, teachers, artists and others who demand freedom of speech in Turkey.

The signatory academics abroad have recently initiated a targeted boycott towards the Turkish higher education system, and its complicit universities. The aim of the academic boycott is to ensure that all dismissals are revoked and the persecution of academics, exacerbated under the state of emergency regime, is ended. To this boycott, and continuous struggle of Academics for Peace, the government recently responded by a harsher strategy: signatory academics are sued on an individual basis based on the accusation of terror propaganda according to the Law on Struggle against Terrorism, Article 7/2. The public prosecutor proposes imprisonment extending to 7.5 years. The number of academics with indictments is increasing day by day, and their trials start on December 5, 2017.

Since the petition, one of the most important acts of support for the academics who demanded peace has been the solidarity from colleagues who are not content with Turkey’s oppressive regime and its fatal actions on freedom of speech. In this new turn, we are well aware that we will need a stronger voice of resistance and call for justice! This solidarity can be through standing by us in the court hearings starting December 5, 2017, sending monitoring teams, observers, and news-makers; spreading the word and raising the awareness for what is happening now in Turkey regarding the academics.

In order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted academics, we, the peace academics from North America, call on you to:

  1. Share and spread this call for solidarity; show your solidarity by following the trials, commenting on them in your blogs, social media and/or writing a news article. For more info on the latest attacks on academics in Turkey, please visit https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/ or http://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20171017.pdf
  2. Contactbakuluslararasi@gmail.com if you want to attend the trials as an observer, or write to a human rights organization to send a delegate;
  3. Sign the petition https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/petition/ to support the targeted boycott on complicit universities in Turkey;
  4. Inform your professional organizations and university senate to take action against complicit institutions, such as The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK; tubitak.gov.tr/en);
  5. Support dismissed scholars financially by donating to the education union that supports them https://www.youcaring.com/academicsforpeaceinturkey-763983

TURKISH COURTS SET TO BEGIN HEARINGS OF PURGED DISSIDENTS IN ACADEMIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -PEN AMERICA

NEW YORK—The arbitrary use of judicial power in targeting signatories of the January 2016 Academics for Peace petition is the latest in a long series of legal charges filed against civil society actors by authorities, and demonstrates the Turkish government’s ongoing campaign to silent dissent in all its forms.On January 11, 2016, Academics for Peace circulated a petition titled “We Will Not be a Party to this Crime,” calling on the Turkish government to end its siege of Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey. After the failed July 2016 coup attempt, more than 4,000 academics were dismissed in a government effort to sweep out any opposition thinkers and Gulenist influences from higher education. Signatories of the Academics for Peace petition, many of whom have already been fired or forcibly retired from their positions, are now being tried on an individual basis on charges of “propagandizing for terror” under the Anti-Terror Law. The first court hearing is set for December 5, 2017, with others distributed among various criminal courts until April 2018. If convicted, more than 100 accused Academics for Peace signatories face up to seven and a half years in jail.“The continued targeting of academics in Turkey sends a chilling signal on freedom of thought and expression in institutions of higher education,” said Karin Deutsch Karlekar, PEN America Director of Free Expression at Risk Programs. “We call on the government to cease its criminalization of peaceful expression and safeguard, rather than persecute, prominent writers and thinkers in Turkey.”Freedom of expression in Turkey has deteriorated at an alarming rate since the coup attempt. Alongside a purging of academics and teachers, dozens of journalists, writers, and activists have been arrested, and more than 180 news outlets have been shut down by presidential decree. Turkey now jails the most journalists in the world, with more than 150 currently behind bars.https://pen.org/press-release/turkish-courts-set-begin-hearings-purged-dissidents-academia/

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University of Toronto Graduate Students Union  stands in solidarity with the Academics for Peace in Turkey

“On December 4, 2017, the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union (UTGSU) in its Annual General Meeting voted in favour of an emergency motion to stand in solidarity with the Academics for Peace in Turkey. The UTGSU represents close to 20 thousand graduate students at the University of Toronto. Here is the motion: Be it resolved that the UTGSU stands in solidarity with the Academics for Peace in Turkey. Be it further resolved that the UTGSU condemns the ongoing government repression against academics, journalists, human rights defenders, and the Kurdish citizens and supports the Academics for Peace demands. Be it further resolved that the UTGSU executive committee works with the Academics for Peace in Toronto and other relevant local organizations to publicly demonstrate support for the persecuted academics, human rights defenders and journalists in Turkey.”

 

Call for solidarity for the academics for peace on trial

Violations of academic freedom and freedom of speech in Turkey have reached a dire situation.  The intimidations from Turkish government and its affiliates toward academics have escalated to legal action, whereby peace signatory academics face 7.5 years’ imprisonment if convicted for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization.”

In January 2016, 1128 academics signed the Peace Petition, titled ‘We Will Not Be A Party To This Crime’ in order to draw the public’s attention to the brutal acts of violence perpetrated by the state in the Kurdish regions of Turkey.  Immediately after the release of the petition, many signatories were prosecuted, dismissed from their posts, and their citizenship rights were seized. A large number of academics including Nobel Prize laureates and members of major science academies around the world initiated a support campaign nationally and internationally. People from different professions, such as journalists, artists, screen actors and actresses, and writers voiced their support for the persecuted academics. More people signed the petition, yet the suppression on the signatory academics got fiercer; hundreds of more academics were dismissed with statutory decrees, their passports were confiscated, they were banned from public sector employment, and criminal investigations were launched. Many of those academics had to leave the country and are now facing extreme difficulties in re-settling their lives and professions. One of the signatory academics –Mehmet Fatih Traş– could not stand this injustice and committed suicide. The declaration of state of emergency in July 2016 after a military coup attempt further blurred the distinction between criminal investigations and political punishment, and opened an arduous and painful avenue for not only the academics but also for journalists, writers, teachers, artists and others who demand freedom of speech in Turkey.

The signatory academics abroad have recently initiated a targeted boycott towards the Turkish higher education system, and its complicit universities. The aim of the academic boycott is to ensure that all dismissals are revoked and the persecution of academics, exacerbated under the state of emergency regime, is ended. To this boycott, and continuous struggle of Academics for Peace, the government recently responded by a harsher strategy: signatory academics are sued on an individual basis based on the accusation of terror propaganda according to the Law on Struggle against Terrorism, Article 7/2. The public prosecutor proposes imprisonment extending to 7.5 years. The number of academics with indictments is increasing day by day, and their trials start on December 5, 2017.

Since the petition, one of the most important acts of support for the academics who demanded peace has been the solidarity from colleagues who are not content with Turkey’s oppressive regime and its fatal actions on freedom of speech. In this new turn, we are well aware that we will need a stronger voice of resistance and call for justice! This solidarity can be through standing by us in the court hearings starting December 5, 2017, sending monitoring teams, observers, and news-makers; spreading the word and raising the awareness for what is happening now in Turkey regarding the academics.

In order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted academics, we, the peace academics from North America, call on you to:

  1. Share and spread this call for solidarity; show your solidarity by following the trials, commenting on them in your blogs, social media and/or writing a news article. For more info on the latest attacks on academics in Turkey, please visit https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/ or http://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20171017.pdf
  2. Contact bakuluslarasi@gmail.com if you want to attend the trials as an observer, or write to a human rights organization to send a delegate;
  3. Sign the petition https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/petition/ to support the targeted boycott on complicit universities in Turkey;
  4. Inform your professional organizations and university senate to take action against complicit institutions, such as The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK; tubitak.gov.tr/en);
  5. Support dismissed scholars financially by donating to the education union that supports them https://www.youcaring.com/academicsforpeaceinturkey-763983

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Aufruf zur Solidarität mit den „Akademiker*innen für Frieden“ vor Gericht

 Die Verletzungen der Freiheit der Wissenschaft und der Meinungsfreiheit in der Türkei haben ein düsteres Ausmaß erreicht. Die Angriffe der türkischen Regierung auf Akademiker*innen sind zu Strafverfolgung eskaliert, wobei Akademiker*innen 7,5 Jahren Haft erwartet, sollten sie der „Propaganda für eine terroristische Organisation“ schuldig gesprochen werden.

Im Januar 2016 unterschrieben 1128 Akademiker*innen einen Friedensappell unter dem Titel „Wir werden kein Teil dieses Verbrechens sein“ um die Öffentlichkeit auf die brutale Gewalt des Staates in den kurdischen Gebieten der Türkei aufmerksam zu machen. Unmittelbar nach der Veröffentlichung des Appells, wurden viele Unterzeichnende verfolgt, entlassen und ihrer Bürgerrechte beraubt. Eine große Zahl von Akademiker*innen, darunter Nobelpreisträger und führende Wissenschaftler, auf dem gesamten Globus initiierten eine Solidaritätskampagne (sowohl national als auch international). Menschen aus verschiedensten Bereichen, wie Journalist*innen, Künstler*innen, Schauspieler*innen und Autor*innen erhoben ihre Stimme in Solidarität mit den verfolgten Akademiker*innen. Immer mehr Menschen unterschrieben den Appell, während die Verfolgung der Erstunterzeichner an Fahrt gewann; hunderte mehr Akademiker*innen wurden per Erlass entlassen, ihre Pässe wurden konfisziert, sie wurden aus dem öffentlichen Dienst entlassen und Strafverfolgung eingeleitet. Viele dieser Akademiker*innen waren gezwungen das Land zu verlassen und sehen sich jetzt massiven Schwierigkeiten entgegen, ihr Leben und ihren Beruf wiederaufzunehmen. Einer der Unterzeichner – Mehmet Firat Tras – ertrug diese Ungerechtigkeit nicht länger und beging Suizid. Die Ausrufung des Notstands nach einem Putschversuch im Juli 2016 ließ die Grenze zwischen Strafverfolgung und politischer Bestrafung weiter verschwimmen und öffnete einen beschwerlichen und schmerzhaften Weg, nicht nur für Akademiker*innen, sondern auch für Journalist*innen, Schriftsteller*innen, Lerhrer*innen, Künstler*innen und alle anderen Menschen, die in der Türkei Meinungsfreiheit einfordern.

Die unterzeichnenden Akademiker*innen im Ausland haben vor kurzem einen gezielten Boykott des türkischen Hochschulsystems und an der Verfolgung beteiligter Universitäten initiiert. Das Ziel des Boykotts ist die Aufhebung aller Entlassungen und die Verfolgung von Akademiker*innen, die mit Hilfe des Notstands durchgeführt wird, zu beenden. Auf diesen Boykott und den fortgesetzten Kampf der „Akademiker*innen für den Frieden“ antwortete die Regierung mit einer deutlich härteren Strategie: die Unterzeichnenden werden jeweils einzeln wegen des Vorwurfs der Terrorpropaganda, gemäß dem Antiterrorgesetz §7, Abs. 2, angeklagt. Die Staatsanwaltschaft fordert Haftstrafen bis zu 7,5 Jahren. Die Zahl von Akademiker*innen mit Verfahren steigt von Tag zu Tag und die ersten Prozesse beginnen am 5. Dezember 2017.

Seit der Unterzeichnung der Petition, ist die Solidarität von Kolleg*innen, die mit dem unterdrückerischen Regime in der Türkei und seiner massiven Angriffe auf die Meinungsfreiheit nicht konform gehen, die wichtigste Unterstützung für die „Akademiker*innen für den Frieden“. Angesichts der neuen Lage ist uns bewusst, dass wir eine lautere Stimme des Widerstandes und der Gerechtigkeit! Diese Solidarität kann darin bestehen uns vor Gericht am 5. Dezember 2017 beizustehen, Beobachterteams und Berichterstatter*innen zu schicken; sich zu Wort zu melden und die Öffentlichkeit darauf aufmerksam zu machen, was in der Türkei zur Zeit mit den Akademiker*innen geschieht.

In Solidarität mit den verfolgten Akademiker*innen rufen wir, die Akademiker*innen für den Frieden im Ausland, euch dazu auf:

  1. Unterschreiben Sie die Petition https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/petition/ um den gezielten Boykott beteiligter Hochschulen in der Türkei zu unterstützen.
  2. Informieren Sie ihre Fachorganisation und Ihre Hochschulleitung um Aktionen gegen beteiligte Institutionen wie TUBITAK  tubitak.gov.tr/en zu unterstützen.
  3. Kontaktieren sie bakuluslarasi@gmail.com um als Beobachter*in am Prozess teilzunehmen oder schreiben Sie einer Menschenrechtsorganisation einen Deligierten zu schicken.
  4. Unterstützen Sie entlassene Lehrende durch eine Spende an die Bildungsgewerkschaft, welche sie unterstützt https://www.youcaring.com/academicsforpeaceinturkey-763983
  5. Teilen und verbreiten Sie diesen Aufruf zur Solidarität; zeigen Sie ihre Solidarität indem sie die Prozesse verfolgen, sie auf Blogs, auf social media Kanälen und/oder in Zeitungsartikeln kommentieren. Für weitere Informationen über die jüngsten Angriffe auf Akademiker*innen in der Türkei besuchen Sie https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/English oder http://mesana.org/pdf/Turkey20171017.pdf

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Translators note: The emphasizes are adopted from the original version of the texts. Except for several minor paraphrases and some sentences rearranged in order to make the text more comprehensible, the translation follows nearly word-to-word the Turkish original. Additional remarks and explanations regarding the translation can be found in footnotes.

 REPUBLIC of TURKEY

ISTANBUL CHIEF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE

Investigation No. XXX

Docket No. XXX

Indictment No. XXX

THE BILL OF INDICTMENT

TO THE CONCERN OF THE HIGH CRIMINAL COURT OF ISTANBUL

The Plaintiff:   XXX

The personal information of the defendant(s) remains classified.

 The Alleged Crime:                           Propaganda for a terrorist organization

Date and Place of the Crime:          January 11, 2016, Propaganda for a terrorist organization

Article of Referral:                          Article 7/2 of the law numbered 3713, Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code numbered 5237

Evidences:                                         The investigation report concerning the statement made by Bese Hozat, the co-president of the PKK/KCK terrorist organization’s executive committee, on December 27, 2015; the investigation reports about the suspects concerning their press declarations dated January 11, 2016 and March 10, 2016 that are of a supportive nature in relation to the PKK/KCK terrorist organization,; records of statement and interrogation reports of the suspects and the arrest warrants for them; and the scope of the whole investigation file.

THE EXAMINATION OF THE INVESTIGATION DOCUMENTS:

On the date of January 11, 2016, 1128 people in total including the suspect XXX working at XXX University, whose personal information is stated above, published the following declaration that supports the terrorist organization PKK/KCK[1]:

We will not be a party to this crime!  Em ê nebin hevparên vî sûcî!

As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!

The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks and by the attacks carried out in these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime,  the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated. 

This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws, international customary law, mandatory rules of international law and the international treaties to which Turkey is a party.

We demand the state immediately to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation policy imposed on the peoples of the region, particularly the Kurdish people, to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage and for this purpose, to give independent national and international observers access to the region and allow them to monitor and report on the incidents.

We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political will. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations and we also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.

We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state and we promise to continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met.

As can be clearly understood from the content of the published statement, the so-called peace declaration has the nature of explicit propaganda for the terrorist organization PKK/KCK.

It is understood that the essential intention of the declaration is to forge public opinion in favour of an end to the operations that have been initiated by the security forces in the regions, where so-called declarations of  “self-governance” were made, with the purpose of cleansing the regions of the terrorists and ensuring peace and prosperity for the residents of the region. Therefore, our Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has initiated an investigation numbered 2016/5734 based on the crime “propaganda for a terrorist organization”

While our Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, in the process of carrying out the investigation  numbered 2016/5734, had started to take statements of the suspects that have signed the declaration, it is determined that the suspects Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy, Muzaffer Kaya, and Meral Camcı have issued a press statement that has the nature of giving the message “We stand behind our declaration”  and whose essential intention is to continue to carry out propaganda for the PKK terror organization with the purpose of preventing the other suspects from withdrawing their signatures and of publicly showing that they are still able to challenge the Republic of Turkey.

In the mentioned press release dated March 10, 2016, it is stated that:

“As Academics for Peace, we have been the target of a campaign of false accusations and intimidation since the 11th of January 2016, when we made public our declaration titled “We will not be party to this crime.”  The vilification which we faced, verging on death threats against some signatories, was intended, first and foremost, to get us expelled from institutions of higher education, so that our voices could no longer be heard.  However our colleagues who embraced our demands for peace and democracy have entered into solidarity with us and gave us support. One of the most tangible expressions of this support was that the number of signatories, which was 1128 on the 11th of January, rose to 2212 within a week thereafter. Especially in these days when the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office is initiating legal action against us in order to step up the pressure, it is heartening to see that, as signatories, we are firmly united around our demand for peace.

Since the 11th of January, as a consequence of the acquiescence of many university administrations in the instructions of the Higher Educational Council, disciplinary actions without any legal basis have been taken against many of the signatories.  Many signatories have been arbitrarily fired from their jobs, their offices and homes searched, and some detained by the police.  Since the 11th of January, [as of 10 March] at least 9 dismissals, 5 resignations, 464 disciplinary investigations, 27 suspensions, 153 criminal investigations and 33 detentions have been recorded at public universities [of which there are 109]. At private universities [of which there are 84], at least 21 faculty members have been sacked, 1 was forced to retire and 43 face disciplinary investigation.

However, the issue which really sears our hearts today, and which should be resolved with the utmost urgency, is the establishment of the conditions for peace in the country.  Since the past two months, the state of war in the Kurdish areas has raged with all its might, and only ruins remain of the cities and towns where the state claims to have conducted “cleansing” operations. Ruins where all living beings as well as history have been destroyed and where only human bones and unrecognizably charred bodies are being recovered.

Since the beginning of this week [starting the 7th of March], the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has started the process of legal investigations, even though they have not yet decided what charges will be levelled against us [the signatories].  However, we, as the Academics or Peace, would like to affirm that we will not step back, in spite of all the threats against our lives or our careers.  We will act in accordance with the responsibility which befalls us as academics and researchers of this country.  We will continue to strive with all our might, both for academic freedoms and for the institution of a lasting peace.

We therefore declare that we will accompany and establish solidarity with all our colleagues who face legal action and we will closely follow all such cases in the courts.  Starting from next week, we will keep academic vigil at Sur and the other towns which have undergone destruction. We will stage teach-ins in front of universities which have laid off signatories of the Academics for Peace statement

We know that the pressure brought to bear on academics asking for peace is part and parcel of the attempt at purging the universities of any dissident opinion. We are determined to wage a legal battle against this intended purge, to protect our academic domain for intellectual output, and to continue to loudly voice our demand for peace.”

The summary of the legal statement of the suspect given at the date of XXX:

The suspect has stated: “I hereby deny all of the accusations. I will not answer each of the individual questions. Instead, I am going to give a single answer covering all the questions”. Then the suspect has been asked if s/he sees PKK/KCK as a terrorist organization.

The suspect has been reminded that the declaration s/he has signed contains the expression “We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation imposed on the peoples of the region, particularly the Kurdish people”, then s/he has been asked “what the actual intention and meaning of this expression is and who in her/his idea had committed the massacre” and “if s/he thinks that the Republic of Turkey has committed a massacre?”,

The suspect has been reminded that the declaration that s/he has signed contains the expression “we demand (the state) to compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage” and “for this purpose we demand the state to give independent national and international observers access to the region and allow them to monitor and report on the incidents” and s/he has been asked “in the name of who s/he has demanded the mentioned observers and compensations”,

The suspect has been reminded that the declaration that s/he has signed contains the expression “…has effectively condemned its citizens… to hunger… and by the attacks carried out in these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated” and s/he has been asked “who actually violates and hinders the use of these rights”.

The suspect has declared “I have signed the mentioned declaration dated January 11, 2016 for the purpose of the establishment of the right to peaceful co-existence. The mentioned declaration falls under the scope of freedom of thought and expression and it does not constitute a crime. The other questions that are directed at me are explicitly contrary to the provision mentioned in  the Article 25/2 of the Constitution assuring that no one can be compelled to reveal her/his opinions and thoughts. I hereby deny the alleged accusation”.

In order to understand the real intention behind the declarations that aim to make propaganda for the terrorist organisation, it is necessary to evaluate the period preceding the time that the declarations were publicized and the period in which the declarations were published:

In Turkey, as a result of the conflicts that have commenced in the 1980’s and that have endured for more than 30 years, approximately between 40,000 and 100,000 lives were lost and an incontrovertible amount of economic loss has occurred. The legal regulation that aims to solve the long lasting Eastern and South-Eastern problem was submitted to the approval of the President of the Republic by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on July 11, 2014 and after approval by Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic on July 15, it was published in the Official Gazette under the name of “Law on Ending Terror and Strengthening Social Integration”. The law specified the specific works to be carried out by the government of the Republic of Turkey as part of this solution process.

In order to explain the solution process to the public, commissions composed of writers, academics and artists that would actively work on the seven regions of the country and carry out regional meetings were constituted and these commissions were introduced to the public on April, 4th.

While this process was pursued by the government of the Republic of Turkey despite all kinds of obstructions and difficulties like the attempt on February the 7th, on the 22th of July 2015, two police officers were martyred by being shot in the neck by the PKK in their homes in Ceylanpınar, Şanlıurfa as a so-called retaliation against the suicide bomb attack organized by the terrorist organization ISIS in Suruç, Şanlıurfa on the date of July 20, 2015.

After this assault, the terrorist organization PKK started to dig trenches, build barricades and set up bombed traps at the entrances of districts and on streets in order to hinder the security forces from entering these districts and to position themselves at an advantage in the conflict against these security forces.

In this context, the first incident occurred on August 7, 2015 as the security forces that had arrived at the Başak and Barbaros districts of Silopi, Şırnak in order to fill up the mentioned trenches were attacked by the terrorist members of the organisation using rocket launchers and long-barrelled weapons.

On August 10, 2015, the so-called “self-governance” was declared in the province of Şırnak by the so-called Popular Assembly of Şırnak of the terrorist organization PKK/KCK. Following this, on the 12th of August, 2015, following the statement by the terrorist organization PKK/KCK, so-called “self-governances” were declared in Silopi, Cizre and Nusaybin.

On December 22, 2015, Bese Hozat, the Co-Chairperson of the Executive Council of the terrorist organization PKK/KCK made a statement via media under the control of the organisation, saying “The literate and democratic circles should support the self-governances” which actually bears the nature of a directive addressed to the suspects.

At the extraordinary congress held by The Democratic Society Congress (DTK) on December 27, 2015, the so-called declaration of self-governance consisting of 14 articles was published.

Following this declaration, it is seen that same so-called “self-governances” were declared in Yüksekova District of Hakkari Province, Varto and Bulanık districts of Muş Province, Edremit and İpekyolu Districts of Van Province, Sur, Silvan and Lice Districts of Diyarbakır Province, Doğubeyazıd District of Ağrı Province, Hizan District of Bitlis Province, the Province of Batman, the Districts of Gülsüyu and Gazi of İstanbul Province and that in order to hinder the security forces to enter these so-called self-governed regions, trenches were dug, barricades built and bombed traps set up by members of the terrorist organization.

In the following period, upon the directives of the Official Governors, curfews were declared from time to time in the regions of the so-called self-governance and operations were commenced by the security forces in order to cleanse these regions of terrorists.

At the current stage, it appears that the operations have been finished in the İdil District of Şırnak Province and Sur District of Diyarbakır Province.

Regarding the mentioned operations, the press release by the Turkish Armed Forces on its official website, www.tsk.tr, dated March 9, 2016 and numbered BA-66/16, reports that:

 “On February 16, 2016, relying on the directive issued by the Prime Ministry dated December 13, 2015, and upon the reinforcement demand of the Governorate of Şırnak pursuant to the Article 11/d of the Law for Provincial Administration numbered 5442, an operation together with the forces of the General Directorate of Security was commenced in order to end the activities of the separatist terrorist organization and to re-establish public security, order and peace,

As a result of the operation finished on March 08, 2016, 113 members of the separatist terrorist organization were neutralized, 192 barricades were dismantled and removed, 71 trenches were filled up, 428 improvised explosives were destroyed, and 249 weapons were seized together with 4,731 pieces of ammunition belonging to these weapons, 16 walkie-talkies and 451 kg of materials to be used in the production of improvised explosives,

Detailed security searches, the dismantling and filling up of existing barricades and trenches, the defusing of improvised explosives in the region continue to be carried out, and as of today ((March 09, 2016) 7 more members of the separatist terrorist organization have been neutralized as a result of the security search activities and the total number of terrorists that have been neutralized has risen up to 120”.

And in the press release dated March 10, 2016 and numbered BA-67/16, it was reported that;

“The joint operation that was commenced in order to end the activities of the separatist terrorist organization and to re-establish public security, order and peace on December 18, 2015 together with the forces of General Directorate of Security, upon the reinforcement demand of the Governorate of Diyarbakır on December 17, 2015 pursuant to the Article 11/d of the Law for Provincial Administration numbered 5442 has been finished on the date of March 09, 2016,

As a result of this operation, 279 members of the separatist terrorist organization were neutralized, 206 barricades were dismantled and removed, 7 trenches were filled up, 365 improvised explosives were destroyed, and 504 weapons were seized together with 48,048 pieces of ammunition belonging to these weapons, 10 walkie-talkies and 3470 kg of materials to be used in the production of improvised explosives,

Detailed security search, the dismantling and filling up of the existing barricades and trenches, the defusing of improvised explosives in the region continue to be carried out”.

During the period in which the operations were being carried out by the security forces in order to cleanse those regions in which  the terrorist organization PKK/KCK had declared so-called “self-governance” from terrorists and to ensure the peace and prosperity of the local communities;

On December 22, 2015, Bese Hozat, the Co-Chairperson of the Executive Council of the terrorist organization PKK/KCK made a statement via media under the control of the organisation, saying “The literate and democratic circles should support the self-governances”,

At the extraordinary congress held by The Democratic Society Congress (DTK) on December 27, 2015, the so-called declaration of self-governance consisting of 14 articles was published, and immediately after this, on January 11, 2016, the declarations that are subjected to our investigation were publicized.

GENERAL EVALUATION REGARDING THE DECLARATIONS PUBLICIZED ON JANUARY 11, 2016 AND MARCH 10, 2016:

The initiative called Academics for Peace has been organizing, since 2012, activities aimed at the solution of the problem in eastern and southeastern Turkey on the so-called principles of “peace and democracy”. Simultaneous to the calls of the leaders of the PKK/KCK on their militants, since the end of 2015, to resist the so-called “violent massacre and genocide” committed by the state in the settlements located in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey, to stir up revolts and declare self-governances, the Academics for Peace initiative mobilized and submitted the petition “We Will Not Be a Party to This Crime” with the support of domestic and foreign academics. By organizing defamation campaigns against the Republic of Turkey, its government, judiciary, army and security forces using press and media, they have carried out propaganda for the armed terrorist organization PKK/KCK in a way that justifies or promotes its methods including force, violence and threats.

When examined from a historical perspective and within a cyclical approach, the text of the declaration, both in respect of its preparation period and timing and of its content, appears as a theoretical component of the acts of violence committed by the terrorist organization PKK/KCK in the settlements located in eastern and southeastern Turkey. It is clear that the plan for the settlements in eastern and southeastern Turkey depicted in the declaration is completely delusional and without any solid foundation and that the declaration has initiated a campaign of incrimination and been used as a tool for propaganda. The fact that the declaration was publicized in the period when the PKK started its bloody assaults on security forces and civilians bears a particular importance within the context of the incident.

Following the propaganda for said terror organization by means of the publicized declaration signed by persons with academic titles, whose opinions are highly regarded in society due to the scientific studies they carry out, the state officials unavoidably became concerned and uneasy about the intensification of terrorist activities in the country. By influencing its audiences on domestic and international platforms through several media organs, the declaration was intended to and used to manipulate the instances occurring in eastern and southeastern Turkey, to spread false, baseless and malicious news through disinformation and information pollution, to target the Republic of Turkey, its government, its army and security forces by depicting the state not as a sovereign entity but rather as an “illegitimate, destructive power” through counter-propaganda, and to legitimize the methods of force, violence and threat of the armed terrorist organization PKK/KCK and consequently, to carry out propaganda in favour of actions that adopt these methods.

Further, the propaganda carried out through the mentioned declaration aims to throw the country into turbulence and to obtain the control over the thoughts of people considered as respondents and interlocutors in the field by affecting them, prompting them to take an active stance and demoralizing the public in general.

The mentioned academics have intentionally published manipulated and distorted information via several media organs by misrepresenting the measures taken by the government, army and the security forces aimed at safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country and preventing crime by blaming Turkey for  “… practically condemning people to hunger and thirst under the name of curfew”, “…attacking these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime”, “… violating particularly the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment that have been protected by the constitution and international conventions that Turkey has undersigned”, “… this deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party, the international customary law and the binding norms of international law”. They went further and carried out a propaganda campaign against the Republic of Turkey and in favour of the armed terrorist organisation PKK/KCK by asking “…the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents”, “…the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement”, “…the state to immediately end to the violence it perpetrates against its citizens”. It is important to note here that sustaining a democratic society requires securing the territorial integrity and public safety of the Republic of Turkey, maintaining the people’s sense of integrity and togetherness, establishing the public order and security and preventing such kinds of crimes.

Even though the academics that signed the declaration in question, playing a special role as bearing the title of scientists, had the right to express their reactions within the borders defined by the law and in a manner that respects the dignity, honour, prestige and rights of the Republic of Turkey, they instead made propaganda for the terrorist organisation by preparing a declaration that contains dishonouring expressions and that manipulates and distorts the factual truths and they have therefore committed a crime.

Upon reading the declaration, people will be unaware of the methods of force, violence and threat that the PKK has employed in the region for years. Especially foreign people who are ignorant or indifferent to the realities of the region or who carry out activities against Turkey despite their knowledge of the issue, perceive the incident as “an assault and massacre carried out by the state against innocent and oppressed people of the region” and spread this interpretation through chains of dissemination. When the text is attentively examined, it is obvious that the academics that signed the mentioned declaration have deliberately resorted to this method and exceeded the borders of criticism, that they have meticulously chosen the terms and concepts used and that they have sought to legitimise the armed terrorist organisation PKK/KCK through the messages they aimed to convey.

It is also seen that those academics that signed the declaration without reading it thoroughly and understood that the content of the text exceeds the limits of criticism have stated that “They have subsequently understood that the declaration adopts an attitude that is partial and far from serving the aim of attaining peace”.

The academics that prepared the declaration have deliberately changed some of the expressions and concepts in the foreign language versions of the text. Through professional touches in the texts they submitted to the foreigners, they have taken pains to carry out propaganda for the PKK/KCK in a way that legitimizes its methods of force, violence and threat or that promotes the adoption of these methods.

The texts of the declaration shall therefore be examined.

The English version of the declaration goes as follows:

As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!

The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.

This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.

We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.

We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.

We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met.[2]

When the English version of the text is examined, it is seen that a discriminatory and separatist discourse has been employed by referring to the phrase “the provinces of Kurdistan”[3], a term that PKK/KCK uses to signify the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey. Similarly, the phrase “Kurdish political will” in the Turkish version has been replaced with the phrase “Kurdish political movement”. The declaration that is the product of a scenario that aims to create a perception within the international public that there exists a political and geographical region called “Kurdistan” in Turkey and that the PKK, the organiser of acts of terror in eastern and southeastern Turkey, is the representative of the “Kurdish political movement”, has aimed to make propaganda for the terrorist organisation that works towards the disintegration of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Turkey and to gain domestic and international support in favour of the organisation.

It should not be forgotten that the PKK, especially after the arrest of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the organisation, has spent much effort in the international arena to be accepted and addressed as the “legitimate will and the political representative of Kurdish people”. At that very point, it must be stressed that the Academics for Peace initiative has the manner of an organisation that, under a legal cloak, aims to execute the decisions taken by the PKK.

Again, it must be stressed that the PKK, in accordance with its “Serhildan” theory, recently started planning activities with an aim to deeply influence its audience by voicing its “democratic rights demands” in a way that is seemingly in conformity with the laws but contrary to their essence in its substance; and it must be stressed that the declaration publicized by Academics for Peace initiative must be evaluated within this context.

It is probably beyond doubt that the academics that legitimize the destructive activities of the terrorist organisation that seeks to establish a new political authority by abolishing the political will of the Republic of Turkey in the mentioned region, using heavy machine-guns, mortars, rocket launches, anti-aircraft guns, demolition bombs enhanced by chemical and physical components, trying to prevent the security forces from entering and controlling the self-governance regions by digging up trenches and setting up traps, harming state officials and civilians by entering into conflict on the streets and accusing the state/government which aims to establish order in the region by reference to its sovereignty, to carry out a deliberate and planned “massacre”, are aware of the meanings and equivalents of these concepts and expressions in the domestic and international law and of what it means to invite international “independent observers” to a sovereign state in order to solve its domestic problems. Besides, while making propaganda for the legitimisation of the terrorist organisation, the mentioned academics have not hesitated to sign an accusation that targets the Republic of Turkey, its Government, judiciary, army and security forces.

It should not be glossed over that this community of academics, which, in order to draw a veil over the assaults carried out against the Turkish army and security forces, accuses the Republic of Turkey, its government, army and security forces for committing a massacre, more openly, for “massively exterminating/slaying” the people of the region, has taken on the duty to become the seeming legal protector of the PKK/KCK that aims to neutralize and wipe out the governmental institutions in the region.

Including under-developed countries, no state or government in the world fighting terrorist organisations shall deem the statements of persons that accuse it of committing a “massacre”, that degrade it or make propaganda in a way that legitimates or promotes the methods of force, violence and threat of terrorist organisations that aim to abolish its existence, within the borders of freedom of thought or the right to critique. For example, an academic would not be able to accuse the United States of America or any member state of the European Union of carrying out a massacre against Al-Qaida and ISIS, whom they have actively been fighting. The legal systems of the respective countries would never let this happen. The ones who act contrary to this would become subject to sanctions on the grounds of committing a crime against her/his country and even for betrayal. The direct involvement of the domestic signatory academics has laid the ground for foreign academics in to participate by a declaration that contains propaganda for an organisation that aims to annihilate the state and the government of Republic of Turkeywithout considering the risks. Through the act of making propaganda for the mentioned text in international platforms, the domestic academics that prepared and signed the declaration have committed a crime against the Republic Turkey to which they are affiliated.

The foreign academics that have signed the text or supported the signatories have supported their so-called Turkish colleagues through propaganda campaigns organized abroad (by writing articles and letters, giving lectures and holding press conferences etc.). And this is an indicator of the fact that, an organized and extensive action against the Republic of Turkey and its Government has been organized with multifaceted and intricate international connections.

Additionally, some academics that hold positions in the universities of Istanbul have argued that “the prosecutor’s office has started an investigation before specifying the crime” and have therefore directly served the ends of the organisation by initiating a campaign of abuse that seeks to render the judiciary a target of domestic and international public opinion.

Chris Stephenson, a lecturer at Bilgi University, in solidarity with his so-called colleagues under custody, arrived at the Court House of Istanbul carrying material in his bag deliberately to be used for propaganda for the terrorist organisation and wanted to support the defamation campaign in the international community against Turkey.

The defamation propaganda and campaign against Turkey was furthered by several foreign organisations which cancelled events they had planned to hold in Turkey in referenced to “the pressure imposed on academics and the violations of their rights”, but essentially to render Turkey a target of international public opinion. It is impossible to assume that these kinds of activities that seek to magnify the propaganda by depicting Republic of Turkey and its Government as unrighteous even though it is hundred percent right, have arisen on their own accord and independently of each other.

As the legal process regarding some of the academics that signed the declaration began, their colleagues and fellow signatories prepared a second declaration to consolidate their propaganda campaign. The signatories of the second declaration sought to cast a shadow on the investigations and targeted the higher education institutions, security and judiciary organs. With expressions like “human bones and burned out human bodies have been found in the provinces and historical artefacts have been damaged”, they went further and tried to make the Republic of Turkey and its Government pay for activities that are actually carried out by the PKK.

In order to shape public opinion, the relevant academics held various press conferences, carried out so-called watch duties, organised demonstrations and, in order to present the detained academics as victims, they tried to carry out protests on the themes of “freedom of thought and expression” and “the right to criticize” by way of all kinds of written and oral means of communication, using in particular the media, and used all this as a cloak for the committed crime.

Those academics subject to administrative actions in their universities and those that have been dismissed from their posts have given lectures under the name “Solidarity Academies” and have thereby provoked the public and the students of the universities they were affiliated to against the Republic of Turkey and its Government.

Looking at the methods and expressions employed, it is our understanding that the academics that signed the declaration prepared the ground for partitions by creating a sense of mistrust towards the state and the government within the national and international public and by creating social separations, and consequently that they planned to destroy public order, weaken the state and to reach their goal by stressing that “a chaotic environment reigns the country’s East and South-East, and the judiciary is acting under the influence of the politicians”.

Undoubtedly, it is a democratic right to sign a document that contains no criminal elements. But the academics that expressed their desire to implement an environment of peace and democracy in the country signed a declaration that contains criminal elements in that it legitimizes a terrorist organisation that seeks to bring about a civil war by digging trenches, attacking security forces and using civilians as human shields, and that, in the subsequent environment of chaos, seeks to lift the state’s sovereignty in the region. They signed a declaration that further accuses the state forces that attempt to assure the unity, integrity, peace and order of the country of “carrying out massacre”.

It cannot be within the limits of the freedom of thought to attribute a concrete act or stance to a person or institution that would compromise its honour, dignity, esteem or prestige or to make claims regarding that person or institution that are contrary to the facts. Even in the most libertarian states, expressions of insult are not protected and propaganda for terrorist organisations is not tolerated.

In Spain, a country that has fought the armed terrorist organisation ETA for many years, it is forbidden to vindicate those that partook in acts of terror by any means, including mass communication, to make statements that would humiliate the victims of these crimes and to use expressions that glorify the terrorist organisation. Persons who commit these crimes are punished in accordance with the penal code. Even though ETA has declared to lay down arms, some people were detained during a commemoration ceremony in 2015 on the grounds that they glorified and made propaganda for the terrorist organisation.

Likewise, in the United Kingdom, following many years of struggle against the terrorist organisation IRA and more recent attacks by international terrorist organisations, statements that are perceived as terror propaganda by its audience and that would encourage this audience to commit terrorist actions are punishable according to the anti-terror law.

In the United States of America, which was targeted by international terrorist organisations in recent years, the Supreme Court, with a view to the interests of the country, has prohibited terrorist organisations to give statements aimed at manipulating and distorting truths and threatening the country. Besides, in USA, not only those that make propaganda for terrorist organisations, but also those assumed to be connected to these organisations face heavy sanctions, get deported or banned from entering the country.

The ECHR also accepts that statements can be limited which incite people to hatred and hostility based on discrimination by reference to religion, language and ethnicity on the grounds of national security, public order territorial integrity, recognizing that, “even though they generally regard a specific region, actions that can harm the territorial integrity and the national security of a country do concern the existence of the entire state and the country”.

In addition, a state’s preventative measures must be taken in a reasonable way considering that the ECHR has stated that “in evaluating the incidents, the margin of appreciation of a state which sees the country’s integrity under threat is greater than the margin of one faced with effects of a more singular dimension”.

Similarly, the ECHR has decided that “critical evaluations can be asserted insofar as they establish the truth” and found statements wrong that sought to depict the state and its institutions negatively through untruthful and groundless claims.

Moreover, the ECHR “accepts that all kinds of ungrounded, malicious and defamatory statements can be arranged/corrected by the norms of criminal law. Given that the ECHR,  for instance, rejected accusations regarding Nazism that indirectly bring to mind a massacre, it should not be compatible with the law to legitimize the methods of force, violence and threat of the PKK/KCK or to make propaganda in a way that encourages the employment of these methods by accusing the state, the government, the judiciary, the army and the security forces of committing a massacre.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, by analysing the text of the declaration and the actions simultaneously carried out, it is considered evident that the texts of declaration in question cannot be deemed within the limits of freedom of expression and the right to critique; that the text is essentially not different from declarations published by the PKK; that the text does not defend human rights but instead defends and makes propaganda for the PKK which violates human rights; that the heading of the text and concepts and phrases like massacre, torture and deportation have been consciously selected and used/stressed in the text and that the academics are aware of the associations they make through these meanings; that the methods and statements that seek to legitimize the methods of force, violence and threat of the terrorist organisation PKK/KCK, which is the perpetrator and the cause of the incidents in the region, have been promoted; that the text aims to prevent the Republic of Turkey from taking measures against acts of terror; that it contains messages aiming to incite chaos in the country and adopts related objectives; that the state is humiliated and accused of pursuing measures aimed at preventing humanitarian needs from being catered for in the region; that it has sought prevent the government, the army and the security forces from carrying out their duties; that it has sought to make foreign states intervene in the domestic affairs of Turkey by attracting their attention; that, in the style and jargon of the PKK/KCK, totally ungrounded defamations like “the state has carried out a massacre and implemented a deliberate policy of deportation in the region, targeting particularly the Kurdish people” have been made; that, with this emphasis, ethnic discrimination and separatism has been committed; that the legitimacy and the raison d’être of the Republic of Turkey is sought to be abolished by asking it to negotiate with the terrorist organisation; that counter-perception campaigns have been pursued by asserting that the state is committing violence against the PKK, which is the actual source of the violence in the region; that, judging by the process of its announcement, the timing, the way of its publication, its proclamations and by the remarks of the academics and their statements before the prosecutor’s office, the declaration is part of an organised action guided by the PKK-KCK; that expressions aimed at exerting social pressure, fear, intimidation and suppression were used in the declaration; that the declaration has the tone of a threat at domestic and international levels; that the second declaration publicized in response to the investigations has the same character as the first one; that instead of finding a solution, it was sought to aggravate the problem through academic watches and street lectures; that the public and the youth of the universities were sought to be included as participants in the crimes committed; that the academics, assuming a special responsibility in the time of conflict and tension, have supported the provocation of violence and the dissemination of hatred; and that they have sought to destroy the unity, togetherness and integrity of the people. Therefore, it is understood that the academics that signed the declaration have carried out propaganda in a way that legitimizes the coercive, violent and threatening actions of the terrorist organisation PKK/KCK or encourages the employment of these methods by presenting the Republic of Turkey as the responsible body and perpetrator of the incidents that have occurred, through the actions it has taken for assuring its security, territorial integrity, public safety and order against the incidents of violence that have been carried out under the responsibility and the prepetratorship of the terrorist organisation PKK/KCK,.

It is hereby claimed and demanded that the suspect be judged by the office of your respective court and be punished in accordance with the applicable articles that have been stated above and that fall under the scope of the suspect’s actions.

Public Prosecutor’s Office

[1] Translators note: The Turkish version of the declaration and the English version that has been published by Academics for Peace contain minor phrasal differences between each other. As the prosecutor examines the Turkish and English versions seperately, it was seen necessary to introduce the text in a version that reflects the Turkish version more precisely. The English version published by Academics for Peace can be found in the following sections.

[2] Translators note: The original text is followed by a Turkish translation of the declaration.

[3] Translators note: Here it s important to note that the English version of the declaration that was publicized by the Academics for Peace initiative does not include the phrase “Kurdistan”. But while translating the English version to Turkish, the prosecutor has taken the phrase “Kurdish provinces” in the English version as the “provinces of Kurdistan” and used this inexact translation as an evidence.

Statement from the  British Alevi Federation

The British Alevi Federation (BAF) has decided to provide financial support to 5 Academics for Peace signatories who had lost their jobs as a result of state of emergency decrees or administrative dismissals. The support is for 12 months, with priority given to younger and female academics. The financial support, funded through donations by members of the Alevi community in the UK, is a meaningful symbol of solidarity. It also reflects determination on the part of the Alevi community to be on the side of those who fight for peace and democracy in Turkey – and beyond.

Alevi Federation.jpg

ACADEMY IN EXILE – Germany

Academics from the Institute of Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien and the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI) have set up an Academy in Exile.

The Academy in Exile is located both in Berlin and Essen. It was initiated by scholars associated with the “Academics for Peace” petition of 2016 and provides a platform for scholars from Turkey to continue their work in exile and to help create an academic program of critical Turkish Studies.

The Academy has issued a call for funded research aimed at scholars from or in Turkey. The call provides for six two-year fellowships, funded with support from the Volkswagen Foundation. Eligible are scholars from all fields in the humanities, law, economics and social sciences who are at risk or in exile because of their academic work and/or civic engagement with human rights and the pursuit of academic freedom.

The fellowships provide scholars with the opportunity to re-establish their scholarship in Germany and work on a research project of their own choosing in a multidisciplinary environment. Fellows will contribute to the research agenda and intellectual profile of the Academy in Exile generally.

The Academy in Exile provides a forum for a continued engagement with questions of religious and ethnic diversity, gender and sexuality, and civic engagement for peace, democracy, citizenship and human rights. With this first funding round for scholars from Turkey, this initiative intends to stimulate Turkish Studies and promote wider debate about authoritarian movements and threats to academic freedom.

ETUCE ACTIVITY REPORT ON HIGHER EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

Turkey
In the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in Turkey, EI/ETUCE together with other international and European institutions and organisations expressed their greatest concerns about the Turkish government’s mass dismissals of public employees, especially Turkish education personnel. ETUCE opposes that the large-scale and undemocratic actions undertaken by the Turkish authorities undermine not only the well-functioning of academic freedom but jeopardise quality education for all in Turkey as a whole. In the last few months, EI/ETUCE have repeatedly called on the Turkish government to respect their international commitments and obligations.
At the recent ETUCE Conference in Belgrade on 5-8 December 2016, ETUCE member organisations reaffirmed their commitment to strive and advocate for democracy and fundamental rights as cornerstones for quality education. To that effect and unanimously adopting the Resolution “Solidarity with the Turkish education community”, they clearly confirmed their aim to further support and
demonstrate solidarity with their Turkish member organisation, Eğitim Sen, and its affiliates.
Education International and ETUCE have conducted numerous actions in supporting the Turkish education community, such as statements , joint support and solidarity letters with other trade unions (eg. with the European Public Services Union (EPSU)) and Education International and ETUCE also cooperate with EPSU, ETUC, ITUC, Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) on this issue.

Furthermore, ETUCE Conference on 6-8 December 2016 adopted a Resolution on “Solidarity with the Turkish education community” aiming to further support and demonstrate solidarity with Eğitim Sen and its affiliates.
On 27-28 February 2017, Education International and ETUCE organised a mission to Ankara. The mission was led by ETUCE President Christine Blower and ETUCE European Director Susan Flocken, and comprised representatives from 11 member organisations from Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The aim of the mission was to obtain a direct apprehension of the situation and of the scope and impact that the application of the emergency decree
has on education staff and society as a whole in Turkey, as well as to strengthen and reconfirm education trade unions’ solidarity with the Turkish education community. The delegation met representatives from EI affiliate Eğitim Sen, the Turkish Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (KESK), the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the ILO, and UNICEF, and with officials of various embassies in Ankara, along with dismissed teachers. The report9 on the mission can be found in ETUCE website.
EI and ETUCE and their member organisations continue supporting Eğitim Sen and the education community in Turkey and demonstrating financial solidarity with Eğitim Sen by making a contribution to the EI Solidarity Fund. The contributions to the EI Solidarity Fund made in support of Turkish colleagues will ensure that legal assistance to Turkish education personnel in need can be provided sustainably via Eğitim Sen. Eğitim Sen reported that through its efforts and international support, it has been able to help
10,407 suspended education personnel to return to their duties. The union provides legal assistance to education employees regardless of their affiliation to the union.
ETUCE continues monitoring the situation in the country. Read more

Academics Signing Peace Declaration Sued for ‘Terrorist Propaganda’

Lawsuits are being filed against academics who have signed the peace declaration “We will not be a party to this crime” on charge of “terrorist propaganda”. Read More

Statement for Academics’ lawyer Mr.Meriç Eyüboğlu

Yesterday, the legal procedure against the signatories for peace evolved into a final phase in Turkey as one signatory was called to give a statement again. That was predictable since January 2016, when many signatories were summoned to police stations to give their statements. Today, our lawyer Meric Eyuboglu met the prosecutor responsible for the case. The information we have gathered from the meeting, and our interpretation based upon it, are as follows:

  • The prosecutor has opted for individual criminal charges against each signatory even though he might well have preferred class action lawsuit. He claimed that, by opting for individual criminal charges, he wished to speed up the legal process. However, as we presumed from the interview, he wants to prevent the collective action of the defenders.
  • We understand that criminal charges are not yet ready for all the signatories as the prosecutor proceeds in a piecemeal fashion. We do not believe that his way of action indicates any particular meaning or preference. In that sense, we recommend to all of you to keep in mind that, nobody is subjected to any “special treatment”. For instance, the prosecutor says he is now dealing with the Galatasaray and Istanbul University but has not been able to start the legal process for the signatories in Marmara University. We understand that there is a roadmap based on the list of universities, which is not necessarily a list of importance.
  • It is also understood the trials will be held in Istanbul regardless of where they work or live. Yet, as we mentioned above, there is “a logic of list.”
  • The prosecutor has also stated that he has not yet decided on those who did not or were not able to testify at the police station. So it is quite normal that nobody in that situation finds anything concerning them on the digital judiciary network of the Turkish state (UYAP).
  • The interview with the prosecutor along with all overall content of the criminal charges indicates that they want to start from the beginning, which is the TMK 7/2 (criminal charge for terrorism propaganda).
  • It is quite obvious that separate trials are aimed at speeding up the process. Nevertheless, this does not preclude demanding the unification of all the trials because the same accusation is made for the same act.

As we indicated at the beginning, we have reached the phase we had been expecting since January 2016. However, we were not able to predict that they would try to break our capacity for collective action by charging us separately. By addressing our files one by one, they want to make us feel alone and without support in the corridors of justice, and to test our moral superiority in courts. There is no doubt they are afraid of taking on 1128 academics for peace together. Let’s come together and discuss as soon as possible as to how we are going to organise for the legal struggle in front of us, and make a decision on the strategy to follow. A strategy for our rights, and a strategy for a legal stance.

Best,

BAK Hukuk.

Academic Freedoms  are Under Threat!

The workshop “Past in the Present: European Approaches to the Armenian Genocide,” which will take place between 15.-18. September in European Academy Berlin and organized by the University of Michigan, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies and Lepsiushaus Potsdam, under the auspices of Dr. Martina Münch, Minister for Science, Research and Culture of the State of Brandenburg has been targeted by the right wing, nationalist and pro-government media in Turkey. Doğu Perinçek, the head of the nationalist “Vatan Partisi” declared the conference” to serve imperialism and the interests of Kurdistan,” the latter of which he calls “the second Israel.” Perinçek said that he would come to Berlin at 14th of September, to join the workshop and defend his own “truth”.

After threatening statements by nationalist politicians and once their names were listed and targeted by local newspapers, some of the Turkish academics whose names appeared in the program have decided to withdraw from the conference. The program of the workshop is not available anymore at the website of Lepsiushaus Potsdam and the fate of the workshop is obscure.

The Turkish state does not just destroy academic freedom inside the borders of Turkey but now also, attempts to intervene in academic freedom in other countries, where academics, artists and journalist from Turkey are forced to live in exile. The attitude of the Turkish state against freedom of speech and opinion is not anymore an interior question but, a global problem threatening artists, academicians, journalist and other producers of knowledge and truth.

 

We, as Academics for Peace Germany, invite all academicians and institutions in Germany to protect academic freedom against threats from Turkey. If we cannot manage this, we fear that the future of knowledge production in this country is no safer!

Academics for Peace – Germany

Berlin, 11.09.2017

 

French Mathematical Society

Call for boycott of some Turkish authorities following the repression of academics.

C’est pourquoi les trois sociétés savantes de mathématiques ont demandé aux ministres
français des affaires étrangères et de l’enseignement supérieur, ainsi qu’aux instances du CNRS, de INRIA, de l’INRA et de l’INSERM, de revoir leurs collaborations scientifiques avec les instances turques ne respectant pas la liberté académique tant que nos collègues ne seront pas rétablis dansleurs droits.

Read More (in French)

Turkey: struggle for democracy

For the first time, the documentation tells of the upheaval in Turkey from the opposition perspectives and what it means to be part of the opposition there. Filmmaker Imre Azem accompanies one year of four activists in a Turkey, which is in exceptional condition.

http://www.arte.tv/de/videos/073058-000-A/turkei-ringen-um-demokratie (in German)

http://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/073058-000-A/turquie-un-combat-pour-la-democratie (in French)

12 Peace Declaration Signatory Academics Discharged from Dokuz Eylül University

Read More

Press Conference, Friday 30 June 2017, 17:30-19:30, EHESS, Paris

TARGETED ACADEMIC BOYCOTT
THE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC COMMUNITY WILL NOT BE PARTY TO
CRIMES COMMITTED IN THE TURKISH HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM. Watch the Press Conference 

Koç University Cancels Presentation on Freedom of Press

Presentation of Yasemin Yılmaz, an academic at City University, to be held in Turkish Political Economic Society (TPES) Interdisciplinary Workshop at Koç University has been cancelled by the organizers on the ground that it was “politically sensitive”. Read More

Turkish Scholars in the U.S. Face a Difficult Decision on Speaking Out

The crackdown has extended beyond people associated with the Gülenist movement, academics and human-rights organizations say. Calling themselves “Academics for Peace,” more than 1,000 academics in Turkey and elsewhere signed a petition in January 2016 condemning the “violence inflicted against civilians” in a military crackdown in Kurdish regions. Some of the professors were jailed, while others have lost their jobs, according to Human Rights Watch. Prosecutors in Istanbul are investigating academics who signed the petition, The Guardian reported. Read More

Ne soyons pas complices des persécutions dans l’enseignement supérieur turc

Campagne intersyndicale d’action et de solidarité avec les universitaires et chercheurs de Turquie

Premiers signataires : FERC-CGT (CGT-FERCSUP, CGT INRA, SNTRS-CGT, CGT UN CROUS), SNCS-FSU, SNESUP-FSU, SUD-EDUCATION, SUD RECHERCHE EPST

La situation des droits fondamentaux en Turquie ne cesse de se détériorer depuis la tentative de coup d’Etat avortée en juillet 2016. Sous l’état d’urgence instauré et maintenu dans tout le pays le pouvoir gouverne par décrets-lois sans recours possible. Sous prétexte de lutte contre le terrorisme, les autorités procèdent à des purges et licenciements gigantesques, dont des dizaines de milliers d’enseignants et plus de 5000 universitaires. Read More

MEDIA COVERAGE ON ACADEMIC BOYCOTT

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Jadaliya

http://turkey.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/26683/call-for-targeted-academic-boycott-of-turkey

Yavuz Baydar blog

https://yavuzbaydar.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/turkish-academia-suffers-of-collapse-as-purged-academics-call-for-global-boycott/

CNRS call (May 2017)

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/calls-french-boycott-turkish-research-council

NEWS IN TURKISH

Cumhuriyet

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/dunya/762748/Dunyadaki_tum_akademilere_cagri…_500_u_askin_bilim_insani_boykot_istedi.html

Bianet

http://m.bianet.org/bianet/ifade-ozgurlugu/187426-avrupa-daki-baris-icin-akademisyenler-den-akademik-boykot-cagrisi

Siyasi Haber

http://siyasihaber3.org/e/akademik-boykot
Demokrat Haber
http://www.demokrathaber.org/genclik-egitim/bircok-ulkedeki-akademisyenlerden-ihraclara-karsi-akademik-boykot-h85452.html

Diken
http://www.diken.com.tr/aksam-postasi-15-haziran-2017/

 

ACADEMIC PERSECUTION AND DISMISSALS IN TURKEY

MEDIA COVERAGE

Turkey: Arbitrary detention and judicial harassment against academics …

https://www.fidh.org/…/turkey-arbitrary-detention-and-judicial-harassment-against-ac…

20 Apr 2016 – New information TUR 001 / 0116 / OBS 010.1 Arbitrary detention … Ms. Meral Camcı was arrested upon her return to Turkey on March 31, 2016 …

Dismissal of Academics for Peace members from their posts | Front …

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/…/dismissal-academics-peace-members-their-p…

Ms Esra Mungan Gürsoy, Ms Meral Camcı, Mr Kıvanç Ersoy and Mr Muzaffer Kaya were … Worsening conditions of detention of imprisoned academics for peace.

Turkey: Release detained academics and uphold freedom of expression

https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2016/04/turkey-academics/21 Apr 2016 – Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı at an Istanbul press conference on 10 March 2016. Turkish authorities must …

[PDF]Turkey: Academics detained for signing peace appeal

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/EUR4437922016ENGLISH.pdf

7 Apr 2016 – The four are currently in pre-trial detention. Academics Muzaffer Kaya, Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı are amongst the over …

[PDF]urgent action – Amnesty International UK

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/ua07816.pdf

7 Apr 2016 – The four are currently in pre-trial detention. Academics Muzaffer Kaya, Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı are amongst the over …

[DOC]x UA 078/16-1 english – Urgent actions

ua.amnesty.ch/urgent-actions/2016/04/078-16/078-16-1/x-ua-078-16-1-english

25 Apr 2016 – Turkish academics Muzaffer Kaya, Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı were released from pre-trial detention on 22 April.

Immediately drop all charges against academics who called for peace …

http://www.euromedrights.org/publication/charges-against-academics-for-peace-in-turkey/

27 Sep 2016 – Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy after appearing before the judge on 22 April 2016. These academics, except for Meral Camci, who was detained on 31 March, …

[PDF]urgent action – Amnesty International

https://www.amnestyusa.org/files/uaa07816_2.pdf

25 Apr 2016 – Turkish academics Muzaffer Kaya, Esra Mungan, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı were released from pre-trial detention on 22 April.

Scholars Jailed in Turkey’s On-Going War Against Freedom of …

blog.amnestyusa.org/…/scholars-jailed-in-turkeys-on-going-war-against-freedom-of-a…

15 Apr 2016 – Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya, Kıvanç Ersoy and Meral Camcı are academics currently held in pre-trial detention in Istanbul after they held a …

Meral Camcı | Translate for Justice

https://translateforjustice.com/tag/meral-camci/

20 Apr 2016 – Posts about Meral Camcı written by translatejustice. … in pre-trial detention, accused of terrorist propaganda under Article 7/2 of Anti-Terrorism …

330 Academics ordered for dismissal in Turkey – Scholars at Risk

https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/2017/02/330-academics-ordered-dismissal-turkey/

10 Feb 2017 – On February 7, 2017, state authorities issued a decree ordering the dismissal of 330 academic personnel from 49 universities, based on …

Turkey dismisses 4,400 public servants in latest post-coup attempt …

https://www.theguardian.com › World › Turkey

8 Feb 2017 – Dismissals come hours after first phone call between presidents … Some of thosedismissed from universities are leftists who have little to do …

Turkey: 330 more academics dismissed – European University …

http://www.eua.be/activities-services/news/…/02/…/turkey-330-more-academics-dismissed

9 Feb 2017 – The names are published on the Turkish Official Journal. This is already the second wave ofdismissals in 2017. According to Turkey Purge, …

Turkey sacks thousands of university staff : Nature News & Comment

http://www.nature.com/news/turkey-sacks-thousands-of-university-staff-1.20550

6 Sep 2016 – Turkey’s government has sacked 2,346 university staff for suspected ties … the first of an expected wave of dismissals under powers granted by …

2,346 academics dismissed from Turkish universities since July 15 …

https://turkeypurge.com/2346-academics-dismissed-from-turkish-u…

3 Sep 2016 – A total of 2346 academics working at 93 different universities across Turkey have beendismissed from positions over their alleged links to the …

Turkish academic seeks to enter university as student after post-coup …

https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-academic-seeks-to-enter-university-as-student-after-p…

31 Mar 2017 – Turkish academic seeks to enter university as student after post-coup dismissal … “As I was dismissed, I am not allowed on the campus now.

Over 5,500 Academics Dismissed from Positions in Turkey since Rule …

concernedscientists.org › Our Work

12 Jan 2017 – Over 5,500 Academics Dismissed from Positions in Turkey since Rule … 100 administrative personnel from higher level educational institutions.

A List of Over 1200 Academics Recently Dismissed from Universities …

concernedscientists.org › Our Work › Turkey

1 Nov 2016 – A new batch of 1267 people, from teaching assistants to professors, have been dismissedfrom the universities in Turkey in connection with two …

Dismissal of Academics for Peace members from their posts | Front …

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/…/dismissal-academics-peace-members-their-p…

On 1 September 2016, the Turkish government passed three new state of …. the universities,dismissals and forced resignations, as well as detentions, house …

In Turkey, Crackdown on Academics Heats Up – VOA News

http://www.voanews.com/a/crackdown-on-academics-heats-up-in-turkey/3724549.html

14 Feb 2017 – Among those dismissed is Marmara University’s internationally renowned professor Ibrahim Kaboglu, one of Turkey’s foremost constitutional …

Turkey fires 21,000 teachers and demands suspension of every …

http://www.telegraph.co.uk › News

19 Jul 2016 – Turkey’s post-coup crackdown took a sinister turn on Tuesday after tens of thousands of teachers were fired and all the country’s university deans were told they faced suspension. … The purge is part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s heavy-handed attempt to root out ..

Purge of academics leaves future of Turkish universities in …

news.trust.org/item/20170301124036-3i5o9/

1 Mar 2017 – Purge of academics leaves future of Turkish universities in doubt … “We took thesedismissals as an opportunity to push the limits and bring …

Turkey is purging 1,577 university deans and 15,200 education …

https://qz.com/…/turkey-is-purging-1577-university-deans-and-15200-education-wor…

19 Jul 2016 – Turkey’s Board of Higher Education today requested the resignation of 1577 … Thedismissed education workers and university deans join …

Endangered Scholars Worldwide | Crisis of Higher Education in Turkey

http://www.endangeredscholarsworldwide.net/crisis-of-higher-education-in-turkey-

Fears are growing for two Turkish academics whose health is deteriorating … On March 27, 2017, IsikUniversity (Istanbul) announced the dismissal of two of its …

Turkish university professor sacked for insulting President Erdoğan …

http://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Europe

21 Jun 2016 – A university professor has been dismissed from her post at an Istanbul … had been sacked after insulting the Turkish president during a lecture, …

PressTV-Turkey dismissals violating basic rights: UN

http://www.presstv.ir › Middle East › Turkey

13 Apr 2017 – A policeman (L) looks at a detained demonstrator as Turkish police intervene during a protest outside a university campus in Ankara on …

Toronto academics protest Turkey’s purge of scholars | Toronto Star

https://www.thestar.com › News › GTA

13 Feb 2017 – Just days ago, police used tear gas to break up a protest at Ankara University in theTurkish capital denouncing the dismissal of 330 academics …

How the crackdown in Turkey is affecting international academic …

https://www.insidehighered.com/…/how-crackdown-turkey-affecting-international-aca…

29 Jul 2016 – Aaca crackdown on Turkey’s higher education sector after a failed coup has … and/ordismissed from their university posts, and others report being …

PressTV-‘Nearly 5k Turkish academics sacked after coup bid’

http://www.presstv.ir › Middle East › Turkey

27 Mar 2017 – Nearly 5,000 academics dismissed since coup attempt: Turkish … slogans during a protest against the dismissal of academics from universities …

Turkey purge: dark cloud of oppression hangs over country’s universities

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/…/turkey-purge-dark-cloud-oppression-hangs…

16 Feb 2017 – The targeting of Turkey’s top academics, in the country’s most … book about constitutional reform, has been dismissed from Marmara University.

Class Dismissed – The demise of academia in Erdogan’s Turkey …

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/class-dismissed-the-demise-of-academia-in-erdogans_us_…

4 Apr 2017 – Demonstrators protest the purge of thousands of education staff in front of IstanbulUniversity at Beyazit square in Istanbul, Turkey.

Protests erupt against dismissals of academics in Turkey – Xinhua …

news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-02/11/c_136048001.htm

11 Feb 2017 – 10 (Xinhua) — Hundreds of people in Istanbul and Ankara protested on Friday against the latest purge of 330 academics from universities …

The Freedom to Say “No”: Interview with dismissed Turkish academic …

http://www.criticatac.ro/…/freedom-to-say-no-interview-with-dismissed-turkish-academic/

20 Mar 2017 – UA: In my university, it was primarily petition signatories, but taken as a whole, the biggest part of dismissed Turkish academics are suspected …

Investigations launched into students who protested teacher dismissals

washingtonhatti.com › ENGLISH

21 Mar 2017 – Investigations launched into students who protested teacher dismissalsTurkey …University officials have begun investigating six students who …

Exposé: In Turkey, government dismisses academics, police beat them

http://www.israelnationalnews.com › OpEds

24 Feb 2017 – Another attack against free thought, now the norm in Turkey: mass dismissals of academics from universities. With the latest statutory decree …

The quest to quell opposition leads to ‘academocide’ – University …

http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20170209130103311

10 Feb 2017 – Turkey’s Islamist government dismissed 330 academics from state service … A book by Gülen found in my university office was enough of a …

Dismissed Turkish professor says ongoing crackdown ′a political …

http://www.dw.com/en/dismissed-turkish-professor-says-ongoing…a…/a-37463373

8 Feb 2017 – Professor Yuksel Taskin is one of the many academics in Turkey who were recentlydismissed from their posts at public universities. Taksin told …

Academic who signed peace declaration commits … – Turkish Minute

https://www.turkishminute.com › headline

25 Feb 2017 – … peace declaration commits suicide after dismissal from university … operations by security forces in southeastern Turkey, restore peace to the …

 

‘Simply cruel’: Renowned professor hits out at purge of Turkish …

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-coup-university-ankara-purge-1061134456

21 Feb 2017 – ISTANBUL, Turkey – Korkut Boratav has seen government purges gut … He himself wasdismissed from Ankara university in 1983 after the …

Gov’t attacks universities: Responses to dismissals from universities …

https://news.sol.org.tr/govt-attacks-universities-responses-dismissals-universities-171616

9 Feb 2017 – 330 academicians are dismissed from their positions in universities with … Erdem added that the universities in Turkey were always targets of …

Letters on Turkey

mesana.org/committees/academic-freedom/intervention/letters-turkey.html

The scale of the investigations, prosecutions, dismissals, detentions and campaigns …. All 1576 deans from all universities in Turkey were forced to resign, and a …

Protest against academics dismissals in Turkey Photos and Images …

http://www.epa.eu/…/protest-against-academics-dismissals-in-turkey-photos-53316204

10 Feb 2017 – epa05782568 Turkish policemen arrest a protester during protest by university students and academics against dismissing hundreds of …

Police Attack, Detain Academics and Students at Ankara University …

armenianweekly.com/…/police-attack-detain-academics-and-students-at-ankara-univer…

10 Feb 2017 – The group was protesting the recent dismissal of 330 academics from their positions atTurkish universities by the Higher Education Board …

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