On November 16, 2018 Turkish authorities arrested 13 people, including two academics from Bogazici and Bilgi universities along and a group of civil society representatives, for their alleged involvement in the organization and continuation of the 2013 Gezi Park protests.
Professors Betül Tanbay, an Academic for Peach signatory from the Department of Mathematics at Boğaziçi University, and Turgut Tarhanlı, dean of the faculty of law at İstanbul Bilgi University, have been released with an international travel ban after giving their depositions to the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Instanbul. According to the public prosecutor’s statement, the academics are responsible for organizing and financing the Gezi Park protests.
Another warrant of detention has been issued against 20 people in İstanbul, Adana, Antalya and Muğla for having acted in hierarchical order with Osman Kavala, a businessman and philanthropist who founded Open Society Turkey and has been in prison without an indictment since November 2017.
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned about attacks on scientists and academics, whose rights to academic freedom and to free expression and association are expressly protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Turkey is party.
The ongoing tensions in Turkey have a profoundly destructive effect on academic freedom and represent a grave threat to higher education and scientific research. We at Endangered Scholars Worldwide urge Turkish officials to honor their constitutional obligations to protect the civil, political, and academic freedom of scholars and scientists.