Wednesday, February 8, 2012

GIT Türkiye calls to unite!

Note: Since the publication of this call, 260 academics added their signatures to the text below at

Call To Unite For Academic Freedoms


International Work Group


Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey

At a time when Turkey must come to term with and generate new solutions for the fundamental issues that plague its social and political history, the unhampered dissemination of knowledge to nourish public debate, and the free conduct of scientific research, of all types of intellectual activity and of academic education has become ever more imperative.

Despite such a need, we scientists are witnessing a dangerous escalation in the influence and pressure exerted by political and social power holders on universities. Students, faculty members, journalists and editors are being taken under custody and arrested, faculty members are subjected to administrative investigations, research is hindered through direct and indirect obstacles, the insecurity and vulnerability of academic staff is heightened by the commercialization of university education. These pressures have cast disrepute on academia and academic activity. Especially those of us who are researching and lecturing on issues that are considered taboo are suffering from this disrepute as our intellectual and social conditions of existence are being seriously constrained. The failure to produce and disseminate knowledge on matters of urgency in Turkey is an impediment to solving vital problems. Yet, overcoming numerous problems with heavy social and political costs depends on safeguarding freedom of expression and research.

We, the undersigned academics, call on academics and instructors of any title and job description to join the International Work Group for Academic Liberty and Freedom of Research in Turkey (GITTürkiye) with their signatures and contributions. As part of an international network operating in France, North America, the UK, Switzerland and Germany, GITTürkiye will provide information based on documents concerning all sorts of pressure and impediments to which academics, instructors and researchers are subjected, organize conferences, seminars, panels and press briefings on conditions under which education and research are conducted, and publicize these via internet and the press. In solidarity with students, translators, editors and journalists whose educational and research-related activities have been constrained by similar kinds of pressure, GITTürkiye will struggle against the oppression that intellectuals are facing in Turkey.

The time has come for us to find in each other the power to construct the ground for free knowledge production and dissemination.

Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel (Galatasaray Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Ayşe Durakbaşa (Marmara Univ.)

Doç. Dr. Zeynep Gambetti (Boğaziçi Univ.)

Doç. Dr. Ferda Keskin (Bilgi Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Günay Göksu Özdoğan (Marmara Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Ahmet İnsel (Galatasaray Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Mesut Yeğen (Şehir Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Ümit Cizre (Şehir Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Levent Köker (Atılım Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Mithat Sancar (Ankara Univ.)

Prof. Dr. Baskın Oran

Prof. Dr. İştar Gözaydın (Doğuş Univ.)

Please send an e-mail specifying your title and, when applicable, the university you are affiliated with, to one of the addresses below to become part of GITTürkiye:

Zeynep Gambetti:

Nesrin Uçarlar:

For more information: is the web site that presents the initiative at the international level, coordinates representatives and activities and publicizes events. is the web site of the work group in Turkey.