Saturday, March 19, 2016

International Support, Solidarity from Boğaziçi U Faculty and Students - and Academics' Letters from Prison

The detentions, firings, administrative and criminal investigations regarding academics who signed the peace petition indicate the growing trend of government repression. At the same time, the international calls to stop the persecution of Academics for Peace are gaining more momentum by the day. A recent survey gives an overview of the government's and universities' persecution of academics and lists support from more than 1500 international academics. On March 18, American Federation of Teachers (AFI) representing 1.6 million teachers issued a letter to Turkey's Washington Ambassador  Serdar Kilic and expressed shock that signatories of the Academics for Peace initiative have been "suspended or forced to resign their positions, and that some have been arrested and charged with terrorism." AFI letter urged the Turkish government to "take immediate action in guaranteeing the universal principles of academic liberty and freedom of expression".

In contrast to the solid and growing international indignation against AKP government's repression of academics, Turkish university administrations seem to have succumbed to government pressure - some university administrations vocally supporting the persecutions while most remain silent. One notable exception is Boğaziçi University where a united faculty (pictured on the left) issued a press statement demanding immediate release of their colleagues and declaring that "there cannot be a university where there is no freedom of thought and expression."

In their first notes and letters from prison, arrested academics offer their thanks for the support they have been receiving and convey their sense of optimism. Dr. Mungan's note and the letters from Drs. Kaya and Ersoy, translated here reiterate their determination for peace, freedom and democracy in Turkey. Colleagues who wish to write to Mungan, Kaya and Ersoy can find their contact information below.

Doç. Dr. Kıvanç Ersoy and/or Yrd. Doç. Dr. Muzaffer Kaya: 
Oruçreis Mahallesi, Eskiedirne Asfaltı Üzeri, 
No:419 Metris 1 Nolu T Tipi Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu
PK:34200 Esenler-İstanbul

Yrd. Doç. Dr. Esra Mungan:
Bakırköy Kadın Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu
Zuhuratbaba Mah. Dr. Tevfik Sağlam Cad. No:28 Bakırköy / İstanbul