European-Turkish Solidarity with the people at Bogazici University

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To read our work in other languages than Englisch, please find the way to your letter:

Açık Mektup (Türkçe)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wc57fsObC65rdVAnT8UkrKMQhpBS8S3K/view?usp=sharing

Offener Brief (Deutsch):                                                                                               https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H7VqXzaaiInLi5mupwurihrx3WIUfCOw/view?usp=sharing

Lettre Ouverte (Français):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18U2iKMjLGNYNEvDktfIEgX2RR1Yj3_SN/view?usp=sharing

Open Brief (Nederlands)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lsMN87Fix9ysSoHRFuv-g6JcoTzxElEK/view?usp=sharing

Carta Pública (Español):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LQFaMMb7VHxbs-9m7WlLvzcFbLjyFruc/view?usp=sharing

Lettera Aperta (Italiano)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uOWv31uBWDuRVEaytHHv0z9J0hKtfKxk/view?usp=sharing

Öppet Brev (Svenska)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11OMxMpQxv3rPKfOmiP9XJl-WJyUnfKX_/view?usp=sharing

Our English Public Letter: 

Dear President of the Commission Von der Leyen,

Dear EU-Commissioner Věra Jourová,

Dear EU-Commissioner Mariya Gabriel,

Dear EU-Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen,

As former European exchange students of Bogazici University, we have been very concerned about the current demonstrations by professors, students and academic staff of the university.

Bogazici University is one of the leading universities in Turkey and hosts several highest-ranking departments nationwide. In its long history since 1863, the university has not only produced numerous political, economic, cultural and social decision-makers for Turkey, but also actors who have negotiated and are still negotiating international relations between Turkey and the world in key positions. Bogazici University has been and still is a popular home for many ambitious students from all over the world.

As former Erasmus students, we have also had the valuable pleasure of getting to know Bogazici University as a place where excellent academic teaching, extraordinary student engagement and great solidarity in the student body are lived side by side. As part of our Erasmus experience, we were granted access to Turkey, where we were inspired to reflect on each other and grow professionally through academic debate and exchange between students and academics. As part of our Erasmus experience we were granted access to Turkey, where we were able to learn about, appreciate and love the many facets of Istanbul and Turkey in a new context. As part of our Erasmus experience, we were allowed to build transnational friendships in which mutual awareness and appreciation for different social perspectives, cultures and religions is lived.

For us, this experience reflects values and approaches that constitute the universal importance of dialogue in terms of mutual rapprochement and negotiation of world politics. As people in Europe, we observe with the greatest concern a growing nationalism, racism and lack of will for intercultural dialogue and understanding. Also because the universal importance of dialogue is something that constitutes our European self-image and the value of a European living, we as citizens of Europe address the European Commission and European Union to contribute in the case of Bogazici University for strengthening European-Turkish dialogue channels.

With the implementation of the new university president, professors, students and staff are concerned about a rupture with the university culture, which is expressed through its self-determination and on which the people at Bogazici University are proud. While on the one hand we acknowledge that the political processes within the university governance is an intra-Turkish process negotiated in Turkey with actors from Turkey, on the other hand we also respect the legitimacy of the concerns of the people at Bogazici University.

Therefore, we have two demands to the European Commission and the European Union:

1. We demand that the European Commission and the European Union do their utmost to ensure that the right to freedom of expression and assembly of the students at Bogazici University and the freedom of academic teaching are respected. We share with our friends in Istanbul the serious concern that these rights will be endangered in the near future and call for a dialogue process based on democratic freedom of expression and diversity between all actors involved without the use of violence.

2. We demand that the European Commission and the European Union contribute to the extent possible to ensure that the interests of professors, students and staff are protected and taken into account in relation to demands for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of science. While we recognize that the current challenge must be resolved through an intra-Turkish negotiation process, we stand in solidarity with the people of Bogazici University and their demand to elect their university leadership in free and equal elections.

We hope that both the European Commission and the European Union, will position themselves on the basis of universal human rights in the case of Bogazici University and will not leave our friends in Turkey alone. We are convinced that the dialogue between the European Union and Turkey is more important than ever before and that the long work of building bridges in civil society will not be in vain, but that those bridges will be preserved and further built in the future.

We thank you very much for your attention and hope that our concerns will be heard.

Yours sincerely,

An International Solidarity Campaign for Bogazici University

#kayyumrektöristemiyoruz #WeStandTogether

Below you will find a list in which different people from Europe share our concerns and support our European initiative as "co-signatories in solidarity" (list is continuously updated):

Stelios Kouloglou, Member of the European Parliament, Member of Foreign Affairs Committee

Petra Kammerevert, Mitglied des Europäischen Parlaments, Sprecherin für Bildungs- und Kulturpolitik der S&D Fraktion

Christian Petry, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages, europapolitischer Sprecher der SPD-Bundestagsfraktion

Dr. Jens Brandenburg, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, hochschulpolitischer Sprecher der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion

Nicole Gohlke, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, Sprecherin für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftspolitik, DIELINKE. Bundestagsfraktion 

Dr. Petra Sitte, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, Sprecherin für Forschungs-, Technologie- und Innovationspolitik DIELINKE. Bundestagsfraktion

Serpil Midyatli, stellvertretende Bundesvorsitzende SPD, MdL, Vorsitzende der SPD Schleswig-Holstein

Cem Özdemir, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Jürgen Trittin, Bundesumweltminister a.D., Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Mitglied im Auswärtigen Ausschuss 

Sevim Dagdelen, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, DIE LINKE

Helin Evrim Sommer, Mitglied des deutschen Bundestages, DIE LINKE

Berivan Aymaz, MdL (Fraktion Bündnis90/DIE GRÜNEN im Landtag NRW)

Sawsan Chebli, Bevollmächtigte des Landes Berlin beim Bund und Staatssekretärin für Bürgerschaftliches Engagement und Internationales

Hakan Tas, Mitglied des Abgeordnetenhaus Berlin, DIE LINKE,

Paul Loeper, Vorsitzender Volt Deutschland

Joel Boehme, Board Member, Volt Europe

Charles Evain, President Volt France

Jordy Vanpoucke, Co-President Volt Belgium 

Henry Páll Wulff, country lead Volt Romania

Tiago Matos Gomes, President Volt Portugal

Michael Holz, co-president Volt Sweden

Marlies Steinhauser, Co-President Volt Austria

Rachele Arciulo, Co-President, Volt Spain

Cristian Camilo Castrillon Urrea, Co-President, Volt Spain

Chiara Cimino, Board Member, Volt Spain

Pilar Miñana Moliner, Board Member, Volt Spain

Pablo Méndez, Board Member, Volt Spain

Javier Cañas Aparicio, Board Member, Volt Spain

Javier De los Santos Meneses, Board Member, Volt Spain

Daniel Medina Stacey, Treasurer, Volt Spain

Bund demokratischer Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler (BdWi)

Pen-Zentrum Deutschland

Junge Liberale

Juso-Hochschulgruppen

Campusgrün Bundesverband grün-alternativer Hochschulgruppen

European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS)

Jüdische Studierendenunion Deutschland (JSUD)

Bundesvorstand des Bund der alevitischen Studierenden

Bund der alevitischen Studierenden Berlin

Roza Atac, Co-President Equality and Liberation SOAS Students Union, United Kingdom

AStA der Universität zu Köln

Erasmus Student Network Innsbruck 

Studierendenrat der Universität Erfurt

AStA der Technischen Universität Dortmund

AStA des KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie

AStA der Pädagogischen Hochschule Ludwigsburg

AStA, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin 

Rahul Rao, Reader in Political Theory, SOAS University of London

Torsten Bultmann, Politischer Geschäftsführer des Bundes Demokratischer Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler