It has been over eighteen months since Serkan Golge, a 37-year-old US citizen of Turkish descent and a physicist with NASA, was arrested in Turkey. On February 8, 2018, we learned that Golge was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on charges of involvement with the Gulen movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
Golge is a senior research scientist at NASA who has been studying the health effects of time spent in space on the human body. He has helped create models that predict the risk of cancer from galactic cosmic rays and has analyzed data from particle detectors on the space station. Golge had been living in Houston, Texas, for three years and was on a month-long holiday in Turkey when he was arrested.
We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide consider Golge’s conviction a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of a scientist who is clearly a victim of a political witch hunt—arrested without cause, held for weeks in solitary confinement, and subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide deplores and condemns the ongoing detention, persecution, and conviction of Serkan Golge. We call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to strongly protest and condemn this arbitrary incarceration; to call for his immediate and unconditional release; and to urge the officials of the Turkish government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties to which Turkey has long been a signatory.