Many academics in Turkey signed a Peace Petition on January 11 2016, noting that they wanted better treatment for Kurds. More than 500 academics signed the petition. Many of them have, as a result, been terminated from their institutions. Some were dismissed from public service, some were fired outright and others were forced to retire. Four were detained for several weeks. Now most are being sued for “propagandizing for terror”. The sentence could carry as much as 7.5 years in prison.
First the signatory academics from Istanbul and Galatasaray Universities were sued at the Criminal Court. They were followed by those from Maramara, Yildiz Technical, Istanbul Technical, Ozyegin and Kemerburgaz Universities. The cases are distributed to different criminal courts. The charges are all the same. The cases are being handled separately and spread out from December 2017 through April 2018. This stops groups of those sued from forming and working together on cases.
The academics are asking those who can to support by attending courts starting on December 5, 2017 by sending monitoring teams, observers, generating news and dissemination of information.
The first cases will be held in the Istanbul Caglayan Justice Palace on December 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm