Updated: May 1, 2019
Turkish President Erdogan described Noam Chomsky, a scholar who, along with 1,128 Turkish and foreign academics from 89 universities, signed an open letter protesting Turkey's attacks on Kurdish areas, as being "in the dark" and displaying "colonialist mentality."
In an email sent to the Guardian, Chomsky wrote, “Turkey blamed ISIS (for the recent attack in Istanbul), which Erdogan has been aiding in many ways, while also supporting the al-Nusra Front, which is hardly different. He then launched a tirade against those who condemn his crimes against Kurds, who happen to be the main ground force opposing Isis in both Syria and Iraq. Is there any need for further comment?” Chomsky also called on Turkish authorities to stop the massacre and end the siege of Kurdish towns, at the same time accusing Erdogan of waging a war against his own people. Erdogan reacted by saying, "Let our ambassador in the United States invite Chomsky, who has made statements about Turkey’s operations against the terrorist organization,” and by offering to “host” him in the Kurdish region.
However, in his email, Chomsky stated, “If I decide to go to Turkey, it will not be on his invitation, but as frequently before at the invitation of the many courageous dissidents, including Kurds who have been under severe attack for many years.” Meanwhile, Turkish police have detained 12 of the academics who signed the peace declaration.