Repression Against Academics for Peace in Turkey

22nd Nov 2016 | By | Category: Anti-Repression Initiative, News & Events

academics for peaceSince the collapse of the peace process with the Kurdish Liberation Movement, the government of Turkey has declared curfews in Turkey’s Kurdish cities and villages. On 11 January 2016, 1128 academics from Turkey issued a declaration called,  “we will not be a party to this crime”, with the support of more than 2000 international colleagues. The declaration was made public in two press conferences held simultaneously in Ankara and İstanbul.

In the days following the press conference, signatories from 89 universities across Turkey faced accusations such as “supporters of terror”, “traitors”, “straw or copy intellectuals” in public statements made personally by the president and other government bodies, such as the Council of Higher Education (CoHE), the Inter-university Council, and by the presidents of various universities. In different cities campaigns against academics were held. Some universities initiated  interrogation processes on individual academics which led to different acts such as  firing and ban on entering the university campuses.  In several cases individual academics were called to the local police or the  prosecutor’s office to give their statement as to why they had signed the declaration.

After the July 15 (2016) coup attempt in Turkey, Turkish state and government have purged thousands of academics and deans from office. Academics for Peace (Barış İçin Akademisyenler) have also been victims of this. In a crackdown that rapidly spread across civil and military services, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the closure of thousands of private schools and many universities. In the last Statutory Decree which was issued on October 29, 2016, 1267 academics have been dismissed.

So far, at the international level, there have been important solidarity initiatives taken by our European colleagues in Paris, in Berlin and in Geneva. A European Committee for Solidarity with Academics for Peace and a fund to support dismissed academics are in the way of constitution. Meanwhile, since the beginning of dismissals, a solidarity fund is created in Turkey by Academics for Peace, by those who have not lost their jobs yet. For updated information on Academics for Peace see

(Note: the original Academics for Peace website which was accessible under  until late October 2016 and which was hosted by the Turkish provider turhost, appears to be offline. The new website appears to be hosted in Germany.)

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