Vedat Demir, a professor from Istanbul University, was arrested along with 30 other academics and charged with membershipo in FETO/PDY, a charge he has strongly denied. Despite the fact that Demir publicly denounced the coup, he remains accused of such involvement. CCS has written the Minister of National Education of Turkey requesting an investigation of this case.
October 30, 2016
Mr. Nabi Avci
Minister of National Education
T.C. Milli egitim Bakanligi
Atatürk Bulvarı No: 98
Fax: 90 312 4188289
Dear Minister Avci,
We are writing on behalf of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for our colleagues all over the world.
We write out of concern for our colleague Vedat Demir, a communications scholar with a Ph.D. from Istanbul University who, until recently, was teaching at Istanbul University. He was arrested, along with 30 others, in July after the coup d’état attempt, and he currently remains jailed.
We believe he has been charged with membership in the FETÖ/PDY, a charge he has denied. We are troubled that, even though he publicly denounced the coup attempt on social media, he remains accused of involvement and imprisoned. We are concerned that his continued detention may instead be related to his calls in Turkish media for democratic and human rights reforms.
The right to speak freely, the right to a free press, and academic freedom are fundamental human rights protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Turkey has signed and ratified.
We write therefore to seek clarification from you as to why exactly Vedat Demir remains imprisoned, and if he has been jailed for exercising his basic human rights, we urge you to see to it that he is released immediately and unconditionally, and that his position at Istanbul University be restored.
We recognize that your government faces legitimate security concerns, but these must not be addressed at the expense of protecting fundamental human rights.
We appreciate your immediate attention to this important matter and look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
- 31 Istanbul University scholars detained in putsch aftermath (scholarsatrisk.org)