Updated: May 1, 2019
Candan Badem of the Department of History at Tunceli University has been taken into the custody aftern being suspended from his position with no official notification last week. Badem has allegedly been arrested on the basis of having a book written by Fetullah Gülen on his office shelves. The presence of the book in Badem’s office was declared as constituting an element of crime in relation to “the attempt for a coup d’état.”
Endangered Scholars Worldwide condemns the arbitrary detention of Badem in response to his exercise of his rights.
Petition: The War on Academics in Turkey
To: The Turkish Ministry of Justice
Turkish Council of Higher Education,
Endangered Scholars Worldwide is deeply concerned over recent reports from Turkey regarding the plight of the academic community. Since the days following the attempted coup, we have received numerous reports that Turkish officials have taken harsh measures against universities and other educational institutions of higher education. Universities are being shut down, and faculty and administrators are being taken into custody and denied the possibility of leaving the country.
We condemn detention of and professional retaliation against academics and human rights activists in Turkey in response to their exercise of the rights to academic freedom, free expression, and free association, conduct that is expressly protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both 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 on a national scale.
We urge Turkish officials to honor their constitutional obligations to protect the institutional integrity of universities and the freedoms of scholars and academics.
We call on the United Nations General Assembly and member governments to put pressure on the Turkish government and express concern over the actions taken against universities and higher education establishments.
Please join The New School, home of the original University in Exile and Endangered Scholars Worldwide, in calling on Turkish authorities to
cease their attacks on Turkish academics and universities;
free those who have been arrested without cause;
allow those who wish to travel freely outside the country to do so; and
make Turkish universities once again the havens of freedom of inquiry and free expression that all great universities must be.
__________________ cc: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey
cc: United Nations General Assembly
cc: Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
cc: Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations