January 1, 2012 : Second list of signatures for the GIT’s Inaugural Declaration (November 21, 2011) Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey
A third list will be published January 15, 2012
Dr. Ayca Alemdaroglu (Post-doctoral Scholar, Stanford University USA, Anthropology), Ahmet Alis (PhD Candidate at Boðaziçi University Turkey, Guest PhD fellow at the University of Copenhagen Denmark, Modern Turkish History), Dr. Janine Altounian (researcher, translator, founding member of AIRCRIGE France, Psychoanalytic Studies), Helin Anahit (Artist and PhD Candidate in Fine Art at Middlesex University UK), Dr. Aram Arkun (Independent Scholar, Henrico USA, Armenia and The Ottoman Empire History), Dr. Cigdem Atakuman (Assistant Professor, Middle East Technical University Turkey, Social Sciences), Dr. Tunc Aybak (Programme Leader, International Politics, Middlesex University UK), Dr. Osman Aytar (Senior Lecturer, Mälardalen University Sweden, Sociology), Dr. Pelin Basci (Associate Professor, Portland State University USA, Turkish Language and Literature), Dr. Jean-François Bayart (Director of research, CNRS Sciences-po France, International Relations), Dr. Derya Bayir (Independent Scholar and Lawyer UK), Dr. Avner Ben-Amos (Professor, Tel Aviv University Israel, History), Dr. Katharina Brizic (Principal Investigator sociolinguistic research projects, Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Martin van Bruinessen (Emeritus Professor of the Comparative Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, Utrecht University Netherlands, Religious Studies and Theology), Dr. Jean-Paul Burdy (Associate Professor, IEP Grenoble France, History), Dr. Jacques Crémer (Professor, Toulouse School of Economics), Dr. Dominique Colas (Professor, Sciences-po France, Political Science), Dr. Ayça Çubukçu (Lecturer on Social Studies, Harvard University USA, Social Studies), Dr. Yorgos Dedes (Senior Lecturer in Turkish, SOAS UK), Dr. Mehmet Ali Dikerdem (Lecturer, Middlesex University UK), Dr. Kerem Ege (Researcher, INSA Lyon France, Physics), Dr. Deniz Ekici (Assistant Professor, Middle Tennessee State University USA, Foreign Languages and Literature), Başak Ertür (PhD Candidate, Birkbeck College UK, Law), Dr. Howard Eissenstat (Assistant Professor, St. Lawrence University USA, History), Dr. Jean-Louis Fabiani (Professor, EHESS France, Sociology), Dr. Hervé Ferrière (Professor, IUFM-Guadeloupe France, History of Sciences), Dr. Maureen Freely (journalist, novelist, translator and professor, University of Warwick UK), Dr. Jean-Yves Frétigné (Associate Professor, University of Rouen France, History), Dr. Sylvie Gangloff (Associate Researcher, CETOBAC EHESS France, Political Science), Dr. François Georgeon (Director of research, CNRS France, History), Dr. Catherine Goldstein (Director of research, Institut Jussieu France, Mathematics), Dr. James Grehan (Associate Professor & Director Middle East Studies Center, Portland State University USA, History), Dr. André Grelon (Professor, EHESS France, Sociology), Dr. Cengiz Gunes (Associate Lecturer, The Open University UK), Asli Gur (Ph.d Candidate, University of Michigan, Sociology), Dr. Laurie Kain Hart (Stinnes Professor of Global Studies and Anthropology, Haverford College USA), Dr. Ayfer Karakaya-Stump (Asssistant Professor, College of William and Mary USA, History), Dr. Hans-Lukas Kieser (Professor, University of Zürich, History), Dr. Asli Igsiz (Assistant Professor, University of Arizona USA, Turkish Language and Literature), Dr. Henri Lombardi (Lab Besançon CNRS France, Mathématics), Dr. Yannick Lung (Professor, University Bordeaux-IV France, Economics), Dr. Laurent Mignon (University Lecturer in Turkish, University of Oxford UK), Dr. Leyla Neyzi (Professor, Sabanci University Turkey, Arts and Social Sciences), Dr. Matt Noyes (Special Lecturer, Meiji University Japan, Business Administration), Dilan Okcu (PhD Candidate, Queens University Canada, Political Studies), Zeynep Oguz (Ph.D Candidate, Harvard University USA, History of Art and Architecture), Dr. Kerem Öktem (Research Fellow, European Studies Centre, St Antony's College UK), Dilek Ozkan (Ph.D Candidate, University of Athens Greece, History), Dr. Mete Pamir (Independant Researcher Canada, Political Science), Dr. Melissane Parm Schrems (Assistant Professor, St. Lawrence University USA, History), Veli Pehlivan (PhD candidate, EHESS France, Sociology), Dr. Jim Ritter (Institut Jussieu France, Mathematics), Dr. Dalita Roger-Hacyan (Associate Professor, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France, English Literature), Dr. Monique de Saint Martin (Professor, EHESS France, Sociology), Dr. Evren Savci (Postdoctoral Fellow, The Sexualities Project at Northwestern University USA, Sociology & Gender Studies), Inan Sevinç (Ph.D Candidate, Assistant professor, university of Strasbourg France, Law), Dr. Prakash Shah (Senior Lecturer, Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London UK), Dr. Sara Shields (Professor, University of North Carolina USA, History), Kamal Soelimani (Ph.D Candidate at Columbia University USA, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies), Emmanuel Szurek (Ph.D Candidate, EHESS France, History), Dr. Baki Tezcan (Associate Professor, University of California Davis USA, History and Religious Studies), Dr. Stephane Tirard (Professor, Université de Nantes France, History of Sciences), Stephanie Tuerk (Ph.D Candidate, MIT USA, History and Architecture), Dr. Florin Turcanu (Professor, University of Bucarest Romania, History), Dr. Hasan Turunc (Academic Fellow, The School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies University of Oxford UK), Dr. Mehmet Ugur (Reader in Political Economy, University of Greenwich Business School UK, International Business and Economics), Secil Uluisik (Ph.D Candidate, University of Arizona USA, History), Dr. Dilek Yankaya (Director of research, Sciences-po Paris France, Sociology), Birgul Yilmaz (Ph.D Candidate, Department of Linguistics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London UK).
The International Work Group (GIT): “Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey” was created on the initiative of: Dr. Samim Akgönül (Associate Professor of History and Political Science, Université de Strasbourg), Dr. Salih Akın (Associate Professor of Linguistics, Université de Rouen), Dr. Marianne Baudin (Professor of Psychoanalysis, Université de Paris 13), Dr. Faruk Bilici (Professor of History, INALCO), Dr. Hamit Bozarslan (Professor of History and Sociology, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales/EHESS), Dr. Cengiz Cağla (Invited Professor of Political Science, EHESS), Dr. Renée Champion (Researcher, Arab Literature and Women Studies, CHSIM/EHESS), Dr. Etienne Copeaux (Historian, Turkish Studies), Dr. Philippe Corcuff (Associate Professor of Political Science, Sciences Po Lyon), Dr. Yves Déloye (Professor of Political Science, Sciences Po Bordeaux and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Secretary General of the Association française de science politique), Dr. Gilles Dorronsoro (Professor of Political Science, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Dr. Vincent Duclert (Associate Professor of History, EHESS), Dr. Paul Dumont (Professor of History, Université de Strasbourg), Dr. Ragıp Ege (Professor of Economics, Université de Strasbourg), Dr. Gulçin Erdinç Lelandais (PhD, Sociology, EHESS, Marie Curie Fellow, University of Warwick), Dr. Didier Francfort (Professor of History, Université de Nancy-II), Dr. Zeynep Gambetti (Ph.D, Political Philosophy, Université de Paris-VII), Dr. Eric Geoffroy (Associate Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies, Université de Strasbourg), Dr. Nilüfer Göle (Professor of Sociology, EHESS), Dr. Diana Gonzalez (Ph.D, Sociology and Aesthetics, EHESS), Dr. Gérard Groc (Researcher, History, IREMAN/CNRS), Deniz Günce Demirhisar (Ph.D student, Sociology, EHESS and ATER, Université de Paris 13), Dr. Ali Kazancigil (Co-director of the revue Anatoli, Political Science), Iclal Incioglu (Ph.D student, Social Psychology, Université de Paris-VII), Dr. Lilian Mathieu (Director of Research, CNRS, ENS de Lyon, Sociology), Dr. Claire Mouradian (Director of Research CNRS, History), Dr. Christophe Prochasson (Professor of History, EHESS), Dr. Daniel Rottenberg (M.D., Ph .D candidate, History, Université de Strasbourg), Emine Sarikartal (Ph.D Candidate, translator and editor, Philosophy, Université de Paris-Nanterre), Ferhat Taylan (Ph.D Candidate and translator, Philosophy, Université de Bordeaux), Dr. Lucette Valensi (Professor of History, EHESS), Dr. Murat Yıldızoğlu (Professor of Economics, Université de Bordeaux).
GITinitiative is an international group of academics, researchers, students, translators, publishers, for
“Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey”
Global Facebook Page : http://www.facebook.com/pages/GIT-Initiative/288505904533560?ref=ts
Branchs are created or will be created in many countries
French Branch : www.gitfrance.fr
North American Branch : http://gitamerica.blogspot.com/
Inaugural Declaration november 21, 2011
International Work Group: “Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey” (Groupe International de Travail “GIT”)
A Critical Situation for Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research
Governmental measures of repression and attacks against academic research, teaching, translation and publication in Turkey have intensified since 2009. They have reached an alarming climax with the recent arrests of the professor and political scientist Büşra Ersanli of Marmara University, the owner and chief editor of the prestigious Belge publishing Ragip Zarakolu, the editor and translator Deniz Zarakolu, and the 21-year old political science student Büşra Beste Önder. They are being detained within the context of “[anti]-KCK operations,” accused of belonging to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an organization allegedly linked to the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The sole objective of these accusations is to silence independent intellectuals and threaten researchers, academics and students. The judicial system in Turkey has collaborated in this process of persecution by systematically upholding detentions under surveillance until trial, and ordering incarcerations (such as those of Ragip and Deniz Zarakolu) to be held in high security prisons, thereby reducing the rights of the defense and harassing the defendant while the state trials are organized – as has been the case with the sociologist Pinar Selek (pursued and acquitted several times) or the investigative journalists Ahmet Şik and Nedim Şener (accused of “terrorism” within the framework of the “Ergenekon” trials and imprisoned).
Since April 2009, with the systematization of arbitrary arrests and subsequent charges of “membership in a terrorist organization,” the possibility in Turkey of independent research and its diffusion, within academic circles or for the public, is at stake. The work of researchers, professors, students, translators and editors has become perilous because of a permanent threat physically, professionally, and morally. The very act of denying them their freedom of independent research suppresses their basic freedom of thought and expression. In addition to academics, close to seventy journalists are in prison in Turkey for having simply practiced their profession. One can add to this, thousands of prisoners of opinion raided within the context of the practices of the [anti]-KCK operations “which have led to approximately 8,000 people held in police custody and 4,000 charged. Each week, dozens of names are added to the list.” (Guillaume Perrier, Le Monde, November 3, 2011). This does not take into account the incarcerated members of the legal Turkish political party “BDP” (the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democrary Party), represented in parliament, nor does it only threaten the pro-Kurdish milieu. Other liberal intellectuals have been arrested because they have questioned the actions of the government, the role of religious organizations, and practices of the State system. The American branch of PEN believes that more than a thousand academics, writers, editors and lawyers have been arrested, while the Turkish association of contemporary lawyers (“CHD”) estimates that 500 students have been incarcerated.
The social sciences – political science, in particular – suffers a great loss with this suppression of scientific and intellectual liberty in Turkey. The simple act of studying or debating concepts such as “democracy” or “human rights,” the simple act of publishing works on the cultural diversity of Turkish society, on the structure of the State or, on the history of minorities (including the Armenian Genocide), can henceforth endanger intellectuals and lead them to be detained in prison for an interminable time while awaiting their trials. After a certain period of leniency during the first part of the 2000 decade, fear tactics have paralyzed once again the Turkish society and its intellectual forces. They could destabilize them permanently. Intimidation is everywhere and at the highest levels of the State and government, as is underlined by the threatening declarations made by Prime Minister Erdoğan on November 18 in Bitlis, against those who question the legality of the recent numerous criminal proceedings. Researchers, professors, editors, translators, students – all those who give life to the scientific and academic field – must from now on constrain and censure themselves if they are to survive. At the very least, they will confront police, the justice system, the courts and trials, not to mention insulting and degrading press campaigns. This is unacceptable. And we protest with them, for them and for what unites us with them, the higher principle of academic liberty and freedom of research.
Initiative for an International Work Group and Research
In solidarity with our colleagues in Turkey, we call on researchers and academics worldwide to participate in an “International Work Group” (Group International de Travail, “GIT”): “Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey,” and to create branches in their respective countries. The activities will exist within the habitual parameters and practices of universities, publishing houses, centers of research and organizations that popularize research. The goal of the international groups’ activities will be the production and articulation of a deeper and more precise knowledge regarding the situation of civil liberties in Turkey. These activities will take place through meetings, conferences and seminars in order to analyze the general conditions of research and teaching (in Turkey). They will result in numerous contributions by specialists and will be widely circulated through scientific publications, internet sites, symposiums, conferences, round tables and the general public media. This international work group will also act as a “watch group,” surveying all documentary facts relative to the situation of persecuted researchers, academics, students, editors, and translators. It will be informed of the practice of liberty of expression and free circulation of information (both critical and non-conventional), as well as the liberty of engagement and association in Turkey, all of which assure the more specific but nevertheless essential academic liberty and freedom of research. The group will examine the ways in which democracy is being constructed in Turkey and the obstacles it faces, both historically in the specific conditions of Turkey and within the recent international context of the “Arab Spring.” In addition, it proposes to create a platform of information, exposing the extent of current intellectual repression in Turkey and the personal outcome of colleagues that are threatened or imprisoned, as well as legal, political, economic, and social questions relative to the process of democratization. In analyzing the situation in Turkey, the group will also confront these issues as they apply, in the end, to other countries.
Branches of the International Work Group (Group International de Travail, “GIT”): “Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey” will be created worldwide. Each of them will function in an independent manner according to the research principles, ethics and objectives mentioned above. The networking of these worldwide branches will be its force and efficiency. GIT, an empirical model of an international academic organization, created for the situation in Turkey, can direct its research towards other countries where academic liberty and freedom of research are threatened. The mobilization of other GIT centers will give voice to the preoccupation and engagement of academics, around the world, who demand universal democratic civil liberties.