Prior to the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, many academics in Turkish universities jointly signed a statement called “The Peace Petition,” requesting the government end the violence and open the way to dialogue and a lasting peace. Shortly thereafter the attempted coup took place and there was a large round-up of suspected persons involved. The signors of the Peace Petition were thrown in with the suspected coup collaborators and thousands of academics were terminated from their positions in Turkish universities, detained and charged as “terrorists,” despite their denial of any involvement with the coup.
The Committee of Concerned Scientists has written letters advocating for the academics who signed the Peace Petition and who seemingly had nothing to do with the coup. We have also posted many articles about the situation in Turkey and the state of individual academics as they tried to handle the current state of affairs in Turkey.
We are including some recent links to articles about the state of academics as they handle arrests, hearings, trials and their lives following the coup attempt and the state of Turkey since the Rule of Law has been suspended.
> Turkish Court Sentences 2 Prominent Academics Over Peace Petition
A Turkish court sentenced two prominent academics to one year, three months in prison on terrorism charges for signing the Peace Petition. Bianet reported that three academics reported for hearings on 4/4: Dr. Veli Polat from Istanbul University and Dr. Zubeyde Fusun Ustel from Galatasaray University were each sentenced to one year, three months in prison. Dr. Yasmin Gulsum Acar from Ozyegin University had her case postponed to April 12th. Dr. Ustel’s sentence was not suspended because she did not express regret; Dr. Polat’s sentence was suspended. Dr. Nuket Esen from Bogazici University attended her hearing but denied the allegations. Her trial was adjourned to June 28. https://stockholmcf.org/turkish-court-sentences-2-prominent-academics-over-peace-petition/ (Stockholm Center for Freedom, April 4, 2018)
> Nine Bogazici University Students Jailed Following Terrorist Rebuke
Nine students were jailed pending trial on 4/3 after President Erdogan accused them of behaving like “terrorists” after becoming involved in a fight about Turkey’s involvement in Syria’s Afrin province. Six other students were provisionally freed. https://stockholmcf.org/9-bogazici-university-students-sent-to-jail-for-protesting-turkeys-afrin-operation/ (Stockhholm Center for Freedom, April 3, 2018)
> 17 Academics From Meliksah University Convicted on Terrorism Related Charges
On March 21, 2018 17 former academics and staff were convicted of charges involved with the coup attempt with sentences ranging from six years, three months to eleven years, three months. https://turkeypurge.com/meliksah-university-rector-sentenced-10-years-jail (Turkey Purge, 3/21/18)
> Former Rector of Recep Erdogan Univeristy Sentenced to 4 years In Prison
Arif Yilmaz, former Rector of Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, was convicted and sentenced to four years and two months in prison for aiding a terrorist group. Professor Yilmaz complained about irregularities in his trial. https://turkeypurge.com/recep-tayyip-erdogan-universitys-former-rector-sentenced-4-years-jail (Turkey Purge, March 3, 2018)
> Judicial Harassment of Academics for Peace
Front Line Defenders has developed a timeline of the handling of the signers of the Peace Petition. You can follow what has happened since the academics have signed this petition.
https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/judicial-harassment-academics-peace (Front Line Defenders, March 2018)
> Restore Justice In Turkey
Editorial in Nature points out what academics are facing in current day Turkey.
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01677-z (Nature Magazine, 2/6/18; Correction – 2/14/18)
> Turkey Is Taking Everything From Academics
Psychologists from other countries went to Turkey to observe the hearings of some of their colleagues. This article describes what they saw and their responses.
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/turkey-taking-everything-academics (Times Higher Education, 2/10/18 by Masi Noor)