Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Newsfeed - January 4

To sign the inaugural declaration of GIT, please send an e-mail to -- to join GIT - North America, e-mail

Scholars targeted in Turkey's "War on Terror"

"Turkish scholars and students have been particularly hard hit. The cases of world-renowned scholars like Büşra Ersanlı have garnered the most attention, but no university campus has been untouched. Student Berna Yılmaz, for example, has been in custody for over twenty months for having opened up a placard in favor of free education during a campus visit by Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdoğan. Sadly, she is not alone. It is estimated that five hundred or more university students are held in pre-trial detention in Turkey."

Read the full text of Howard Eissenstat's commentary, which was published on Amnesty International USA's Web Log yesterday, on GIT-North America's commentary page.

Mr. Şahin's message interpreted

To watch a subversive sarcastic take on Turkish Minister of the Interior Şahin's recent remarks and to get a fuller picture of his comments, which later turned out not to have been fully transcribed in the original news report on Radikal, see the video entitled "Dangil Dungul" on by the sound/video artists 2/5 bz (the text on the link includes both a transcription and translation). According to the artist's note "[t]his is the work of a special-beautification (with eye and hand) association that has grown as no-exotic due to its activities in the back yard of turkish pop cinema (yesilcam). The association is called 2/5 bz, and in this work, it has used demoralization approach and reflected it on modern painting. ( 1991 - 2011 )."

A young journalist taken into custody
Twenty-three alleged left-wing students were taken into custody in the course of unrest on Istanbul University's Beyazit Campus on January 2. According to Isil Cinmen's report on Bianet, Cem Simsek, editor at the news center of Hayat TV, who was on campus to sit in an exam, was also taken into custody because he was taking footage of the incident with his cell phone. Beste Bal, a graduate student in the Department of Political Science, stated that one could foresee a conflict by the sheer number of police, both undercover and regular, present on campus from earlier on that day. According to Bal, the incident started when some students wanted to post banners in the canteen in protest of the recent killing of 35 civilians in a military operation in Uludere. Another group of students started to tear the banners down, soon after which a fight started between the two groups. Other students affirmed that two buses of riot police entered the Law School yard. One student, Bircan Birol, recounted how, once the police forces entered the Law School building, they "took into custody everybody who crossed their way, including the ones who were recording the incident." To read the full report by Isil Cinmen, visit Bianet.

IT Switzerland

Groupe international de travail
(International Work Group, GIT) was founded on November 21, 2011, with an inaugural declaration in France. We launched the North American node of GIT on December 27. The Research Foundation Switzerland-Turkey (RFST) created a branch of GIT in Switzerland on December 29, 2011. For more information on GIT Switzerland, please contact : Prof. Dr. Hans-Lukas Kieser (