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Scholars and PhD students in North America: Express our solidarity with academic institutions in Turkey
  • Petitioned Scholars and PhD students from Turkey in North America

This petition was delivered to:

Scholars and PhD students from Turkey in North America

Scholars and PhD students in North America: Express our solidarity with academic institutions in Turkey

    1. Petition by

      GIT North America-Transnational Work Group on Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey

As scholars and students from Turkey, as well as academics working on Turkey and the Ottoman Empire in North America, we are deeply concerned by the recent incidents that took place at the Middle East Technical University (METU, Ankara) campus on December 18, 2012 during and after Prime Minister Erdogan's visit.


Security forces used excessive force and violence against students protesting peacefully, some of whom were arrested and held in detention. Following the incident, in response to the campus-wide boycott initiated by the faculty and students, the PM made public statements which insulted and threatened the university's faculty. Both police actions and the PM's verbal assaults constitute a direct assault on the university as an institution, its educational role in society, and on freedom of thought. Attempts to label every act of dissent and criticism of the ruling party as "terrorism" must be condemned, particularly when they might influence current policy decisions. That these events took place at a time when a revision of the bill for The Council of Higher Education (YOK, the central governing body for all post-secondary institutions) is under discussion, is very disconcerting.


The METU incident is only one of increasing number of direct assaults on university students and faculty members that leave us gravely concerned for the present and the future of democracy in Turkey. The authoritarian tendencies in the ruling party and the use of both police violence and judicial repression are growing daily. They pose severe impediments to freedom of thought and expression in every domain. We take this opportunity to express our solidarity with academic institutions, faculty members and students in Turkey who face this repression.

To:
Scholars and PhD students from Turkey in North America
Express our solidarity with academic institutions in Turkey

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Sharon Gadberry SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      Turkey has always been a beacon of democracy and secularism in the mideast. This kind of repression is deeply disturbing.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Steven Reisner NEW YORK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      There can be no true democracy without freedom of thought, expression and research. Universities must be safe havens for such expression for the sake of democracy.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Emily Hill KINGSTON, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      I wish to uphold the right to peaceful protest and am especially sympathetic to protesters in academic settings

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Melek Funda Sencicek MUğLA, TURKEY
      • over 1 year ago

      I am so sorry that this planet has been deformed by ugly brains. Besides i am deeply proud that i have been trained by free mind persons at my university.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jean Maria Arrigo ALPINE, CA
      • over 1 year ago

      In 1968 I spent a semester at METU as wife of a visiting faculty member. It grieves me to hear of this suppression of faculty and students.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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