Academics in Turkey Who Stand Up for Human Rights Threatened With Jail, Even Death

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. tony

    I find that easy to believe. People who go against Erdogan have a tendency to get threathened, killed, beaten or jailed.–e1zuFCZwIx

  2. allan

    More from The Guardian:

    Turkey rounds up academics who signed petition denouncing attacks on Kurds

    Turkey has been accused of violating academic freedom by rounding up university teachers who signed a petition denouncing military operations against Kurds in the south-east of the country.

    Police have detained at least 12 academics over alleged “terror propaganda” after they signed a petition together with more than 1,400 others calling for an end to Turkey’s “deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish people”. …

    Staff from 90 Turkish universities calling themselves “Academicians for Peace” signed the petition last week calling for an end to the military campaign against the Kurds and accusing the government of breaching international law.

    Entitled “We won’t be a party to this crime”, the petition urged Ankara to “abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region”.

    All 1,128 Turkish signatories of the petition are under investigation, according to the Doğan news agency. If convicted, they could face between one and five years in prison. …

    In response to the petition, Erdoğan fired off an angry tirade against “those so-called intellectuals” accusing them of treason and being the “fifth columns” of foreign powers, sympathising with terrorists and bent on undermining Turkey’s national security.

    A NATO member.

  3. vidimi

    americans interested in what a trump presidency might look like need only look at turkey. both he and erdogan are cut from the same thin cloth.

  4. OIFVet

    It all started with Gezi Park and Taksim Square in the summer of 2013. The protests were brutally put down, not a peep was heard from the defenders of freedumb and democracy. Imagine if it had been Putin who did that. Heck, Yanukovich treated the Maidanites with kid gloves and got demonized for it. He just wasn’t our SOB, is all. Sultan Erdogan and his grand vizier Davutoglu are our SOBs so they are allowed to carry out a civil war against the kurds, and to suppress all dissent, while we continue to pretend that Turkey is a democracy. Best of luck to the Turkish people, they are gonna need it.

  5. RMO

    But… but… Turkey is a member of NATO and host to multiple U.S. military bases… That means Turkey MUST be a freedom-loving country right?

Comments are closed.