We re-publish two statements responding to the 'state of emergency' in Turkey
The first calls for jailed journalist Yusuf Karatas to be freed. (From SPOT).
Press freedom and democracy are under attack in Turkey. The situation has intensified since last years failed coup attempt.
A third of the worlds total jailed journalists are in Turkish prisons and many newspapers and media outlets have been closed down by the government.
Legitimate organisations including the Democratic Society Congress (DTK)- which operated freely when peace negotiations with Kurdish representatives were taking place – are now deemed terrorist organisations by the state.
Evrensel journalist Yusuf Karatas has been arrested and is prison after being charged with terrorism offences over his role in the DTK.
His legal team have revealed that from 2009-13, Yusuf was spied on the Turkish state who monitored his whereabouts and tapped his phone, listening to his conversations.
He has been questioned over his attendance at a meeting of agricultural workers organised by the DTK in Diyarbakir in 2013. There were no charges brought against him at the time, however, attending the meeting is now considered a “terror activity.”
Government officials from the ruling AKP have also attended meetings of the DTK in the past.
Yusuf was also quizzed over his attendance at a protest in Diyarbakir following the 2011 Roboski massacre when 34 innocent villagers were killed after a fighter jet bombed them in the mountains in south east Turkey.
The case files were built by judiciary and police officers who were purged during operations targeting those suspected of plotting the coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The charges brought against Yusuf are politically motivated and a further attempt to silence all forms of opposition to Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule.
Yusuf has said “whether we are inside or outside, we will continue to speak the truth”
We demand the immediate release of Yusuf Karatas and all journalists detained for simply doing their job.
Freedom for Yusuf Karatas. Journalism is not a crime.
And the second calls on academics to boycott Turkey
We are a group of academics united in our commitment to international standards on higher education and academic freedom, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education, the Magna Carta Universitatum, and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel.
Some of us are signatories to the Academics for Peace Declaration, which called on the Turkish government to end the state violence against the Kurdish people and seek a peaceful resolution to the long-standing Turkey’s Kurdish question. Following the lynching campaign orchestrated by the Turkish president and implemented by the Turkish higher education establishment, some of these signatories have now sought refuge in European and North American universities.
Some of us are just researchers on or academics informed about Turkey. We have become alarmed by the extent to which the Turkish government has made the Turkish higher education system unfit for scholarly activity in general and for academic collaboration in particular.
We are united in our call for a targeted and evidence-based academic boycott of the Turkish higher education system. Our aim is to: (i) secure an end to the violation of academic freedom and persecution of academics in Turkey; (ii) ensure that all academic victims of the Turkish government are re-instated into their jobs and fully compensated; and (iii) ensure that those responsible for and complicit in the cull of the academic freedom and higher education standards in Turkey are held to account.
Academics for Peace – UK
Academics for Peace – France
Academics for Peace – Germany
Academics for Peace – Switzerland
More articles from this author
- Lessons from the remarkable life of Paul Robeson - part 1
- US workers strike back: General Motors and Chicago teachers
- Police ban on Extinction Rebellion is an attack on our civil liberties
- Bosses put the screws on the newly elected Portuguese government to avoid changes to employment laws
- Say no to war and invasion of Rojava - SPOT statement
- Kick out the crooks - Counterfire freesheet October 2019
- Why join Counterfire?