Ahmet Metin Sekizkardes, a former journalist and professor of Fatih University was arrested in July 2016 on charges of being a member of an armed terrorist organization. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison and is still confined. The charges appear to be unsubstantiated. Fatih was one of the top private universities in Turkey and closed by the government after the failed coup attempt. CCS has written the Minister of Justice requesting a review and dismissal of this case with Sekizkardes being released.
December 31, 2019
Mr. Abdulhamit Gul
Minister of Justice
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
Dear Minister Gul:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern for Ahmet Metin Sekizkardes, the former journalist and professor of Fatih University, who was arrested in July 2016 on charges of being a member of an armed terrorist organization. He was convicted and sentenced to nine years and is still in prison.
The charges, in this case, appear to be due to his use of the digital platform Bylock, although the criminal report showed the opposite. He was also charged on unsubstantiated claims of “membership in a terrorist organization.” We are concerned that the accusation is, in reality, based solely on his affiliation with Fatih University and Cihan Media Distribution.
Fatih University was one of the top private universities in Turkey and was closed by the government after the failed coup of July 2016. The right of Sekizkardes to work at Fatih University is protected under articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, articles 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory, as well as articles 26, 33 and 34 of the Turkish Constitution.
We urge that the charges against our colleague, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardes, be dismissed. He is a highly respected scholar, and his skills would be better used at a university than in a prison.
We thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
and the Council of Young Scholars
Ambassador Serdar Kiliç
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
2525 Massachusetts Avenue. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 1 202 612 6700 OR 202 612 6701
Fax: 1 202 612 6744
Mr. Ziya Selcuk
Minister of Education
Milli Egitim Bakanligi
Atatürk Bulvarı No: 98
Phone: + 90 312 413 26 80
Mr. Mustafa Sentop
Speaker of the Assembly
Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi
Bakanlıklar Ankara Turkey
Phone: + 90 312 420 50 00
Members of the Supreme Court
Ahlatlıbel Mahallesi İncek Şehit Savcı
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Posta Kodu :06805
Çankaya / ANKARA Turkey
Phone: + 90 312 463 73 00
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