Endangered Scholars Worldwide continues to be extremely concerned about the Turkish government’s systematic targeting of the country’s scholars and professors. Since the signing of the Academics for Peace petition on January 11, 2016 and the coup attempt in July of that year, Turkey’s courts and Council of Higher Education (YOK) have taken a series of actions against academics, including the dismissal of all university deans and four university presidents and the shutting down of 15 universities. At the third year anniversary of the release of the Academics for Peace petition, the legal harassment against signatories continues.
As of January 21, 2019, the number of academics who have lost their jobs in Turkey is 6,021. 1,080 penal court hearings have been held for 571. The Courts have issued 130 verdicts so far, including sixty-nine cases of 15 months and one 18 months and 22 days imprisonment with DAV (deferral of the announcement of the verdict) and seven of 15 months and two 18 months imprisonment without DAV. All signatories are sentenced under Article 7/2 of the AntiTerror Act for carrying out terrorist propaganda.
ESW expresses solidarity with the thousands of Turkish academics who have lost their jobs and are facing criminal charges as a result of their peaceful activities and the exercise of their freedom of speech. We are deeply distressed by the Turkish government’s actions, which 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.