I’ve had to anonymize this letter, but it comes from a US academic who has a long-standing relationship with the author in Turkey.
Unfortunately, many things are not going well here. I did not believe that the situation would decay so rapidly.
As you might have learned, over the last few days, there has been a huge backlash against some of the academicians who signed a petition calling for a cessation of human rights violations in the southern part of Turkey and for starting peace talks. I am one of them.
After the President and Prime Minister criticized these scholars aggressively, the Turkish higher education council and judicial authorities started to “investigate”. Some universities have followed suit. They accuse the academics of treachery and threaten to fire them and put them in jail.
Worse than this, some groups are openly calling for the extermination of these academics. Although one of the mafia members called for a bath with the blood of these academicians, nothing has been done to oppose or curb him. Instead, the atmosphere is getting worse and worse for these scholars.
I think it is urgent to try to increase the awareness about this nightmare.
I know It would be difficult to believe what is going on here. I wish it were only a bad dream. Unfortunately, it is not a page from 1984…It is happening.
I would be very grateful if scholars and public outside Turkey raise their voices before it is too late.