Updated: Apr 29, 2019
37 students who were members of the Federation of Opinion Clubs (FKF) at Istanbul University have been taken into custody for attempting to commemorate the massacre in Kizildere on its 45 anniversary.
According to information provided by students who witnessed the incident, the undercover police officers at the university campus intervened, and special security guards of the university joined in as soon as the students started chanting slogans.
A student among the detainees reported that there had been no battery, and the students were in good health.
The war against academics in Turkey began long before the coup attempt. On January 10, 2016, a group of scholars calling themselves Academics for Peace signed an open letter calling on the Turkish government to end its unlawful and violent practices in the Kurdish provinces. The next day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the letter’s organizers and 1,128 signatories of treason and terrorist propaganda, calling for their immediate punishment. The Turkish judiciary system subsequently initiated public prosecutions under Turkish antiterror laws, alleging defamation of the Turkish state and accusing signatories of spreading “terrorist organization propaganda.”
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about the harsh measures the Turkish government has taken against universities and other institutions of higher education and its systematic targeting of the country’s scholars and professors since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The Turkish government’s actions irreversibly harm the entire educational community by undermining universities’ abilities to meet scientific and ethical standards as well as fulfill intellectual, educational, social, and institutional responsibilities.