“Turkey is incarcerating its academics!”
This is what Tuna Altınel (Claude Bernard University of Lyon 1, France) wrote to the European solidarity networks on 8 May 2019, as Füsun Üstel was taken into prison in Eskişehir.
A political science professor from Galatasaray University, Füsun Üstel is one of the 2,237 signatories of the peace declaration issued in January 2016. She is in jail for denouncing the Turkish state’s violation of the basic rights and humanitarian law in Kurdish cities and towns of Turkey.
Three days after coming out in support of Professor Üstel, Tuna Altınel, Associate Professor of Mathematics, was detained on 11 May 2019. He is in jail for speaking at a conference organised in Lyon on the 21st of February 2019 by an association of solidarity with Kurdish people.
Academics for Peace have been subject to ruthless waves of show trials for defending peace and democracy. Turkish judges are outbidding each other in handing down sentences that the ‘Chief’, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been demanding.
We declare our solidarity with Academics for Peace, and with all progressives under threat in Turkey. We call on the UK government, the Parliament, the universities and the funding councils to be on the side of democracy and academic freedom in Turkey. Appeasing the Turkish regime will bring only disastrous consequences for the UK and the wider Europe.
We call on fellow academics to suspend cooperation with Turkish higher education institutions that have been complicit in the crimes against Academics for Peace.
Academics for Peace UK
Britanya Alevi Federasyonu
Index on Censorship
SPOT – Solidarity With The People of Turkey