While curfew and operations were ongoing in Diyarbakir, Sur, Cizre, Sİlopi and other regions, a group of academics signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime!” concerning the rights violations.
1128 academics from 89 universities had called for the end of violence, signing the petition as the “Academics for Peace” initiative. The petition received international support in a short time from more than 1800 academics all over the world, including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar and David Harvey.
- Soon after the petition, President Erdogan called the judiciary and University rectorates into action, targeting the academics. Executive and judicial investigations were opened against the academics.
- 4 academics, who released the petition to the public, were arrested.
- Academics were dismissed from their jobs via emergency decrees or were forced to resign. Academics were put on trial on separate courts in separate cases against them.
- Meanwhile, 46 people reported themselves to the prosecution in Kusadasi, in solidarity with the academics. Cases were opened against them. 17 people in Istanbul, 12 in Ankara, 82 in Izmir, reported themselves in by reading the same petition in front of the court houses. Cases were opened in Istanbul and Izmir.
Illegal practices in the judiciary process
- The trials were separated into different cases and courts. This aimed to reduce public awareness of the situation and hinder attempts to track the cases. This practice alone puts the judiciary in a clearly biased position.
- Almost all indictments were prepared in a “copy-paste format” and include no concrete evidence whatsoever. They merely consist of the prosecutors opinions and speculative accusations.
As of July 17th, 2019 784 academics have been put on trial in 58 separate courts. 205 of the trials have been concluded. All have been sentenced for “propagandising a terrorist organisation” or “degrading the state of the Republic of Turkey”. 36 sentences were not reprieved. Prof. Dr. Füsun Üstel started serving her sentence on May 8th, 2019.
Another petition signer, Ass. Prof. Tuna Altınel was arrested for another reason, for a conference he participated in Paris. His trial will take place on July 30th, in Balikesir.
The trials of the supporters in Kusadasi have been concluded with acquittal.
Applications were made to the constitutional court concerning the judiciary process.
We call the constitutional court to action: “Drop the cases, let freedom of expression prevail…”
The Constitutional Court has the duty to prevent rights violations. There can’t be any type of legal practice or decision which violates the Constitution, laws and human rights. The Higher Court, should immediately decide on the application made by the academics. The Court should immediately put an end to illegal practices targeting the academics with arbitrary indictments.
We call the Constitutional Court to action to take the necessary steps for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms; and to end the processes that violate freedom of expression!
We call the constitutional court to action:
Düşünce Suçu(!?)na Karşı Girişim (Initative for Freedom of Expression)
Ankara Düşünceye Özgürlük Girişimi