The Committee of Concerned Scientists has requested that the new United States President contact the President of Turkey and request the return of NASA scientist, Serkan Golge, who is being held in Turkish prison accused of being complicit in coup attempt.
February 2, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and scholars dedicated to protecting the human rights and scientific freedom of colleagues around the world.
We are seeking your help in achieving the release from a Turkish prison of an American citizen — a 36-year-old NASA scientist, Dr. Serkan Golge. He was arrested in July 2016 during a family vacation in the Turkish Hatay province, on suspicion of belonging to the “FETO” organization run by Fethullah Gullen. Gullen has been accused by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, of orchestrating the failed coup attempt on July 15th. A one-dollar American bill was found in Dr. Golge’s possession when arrested. It was presented to the judge as the incriminating evidence against him. The serial number of the bill allegedly represented Golge’s place in the hierarchy of the Gullen organization. Dr. Golge has vehemently denied his involvement with the Gullen organization or the coup.
Since his arrest, Dr. Golge has been held in Iskenderun prison where he has been subjected to extended periods of solitary confinement and has been denied access to an attorney. He also has not been allowed a visit from U.S. consular representatives. In the absence of any credible evidence against Dr. Golge his detention is both arbitrary and illegal, and, even under the current “State of Emergency,” is a violation of Turkey’s International Human Rights commitments, as well as the rights guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution. The academic community and the human rights organizations worldwide have expressed dismay in connection with the unlawful imprisonment of Dr. Golge and have demanded his immediate release from Turkey – to date, with no response.
We trust that you will not abandon a U.S. citizen in trouble and will help achieve the release of Dr. Golge from prison and his safe return to the United States.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists