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Academics Call for Peace and Justice (Turkey)

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[This statement was released on 11 September 2015. To sign this statement, click here.]

We, the undersigned academics, are deeply concerned about the escalating violence after the general elections held on 7 June in Turkey. After these elections, AKP, the previously ruling party, has lost its absolute majority status and yet appears to act as if its status has not changed, undermining the electoral votes. The transition government put together with the AKP-appointed ministers has embarked upon a military and political campaign within and outside of Turkey. The horrific suicide bombing in Suruç, Turkey, appears to be used as grounds for the justification of the recent military operations. On 20 July 2015, a suicide bombing in Suruç has killed more than thirty young activists who were prepared to cross the Syrian border and to bring support and toys for the Kurdish youth and children in Kobane, the Syrian town attacked by ISIS. The request placed at the Turkish Parliament to investigate the Suruç bombing has been blocked by the AKP votes with the support of the nationalist Turkist party MHP. Instead, under the pretext of Suruç-related security matters, state officials started military and political operations that  target dissident groups—mainly the Kurds. The escalation of violence—an outcome of these operations—propels Turkey into a climate of war. As it becomes difficult to keep an account of the death toll, we consider it our professional and humanitarian duty to call for the end of these operations and hereby urge our colleagues to join us in our plea for a political resolution.

State of exception is declared in different places in Turkey, and implemented by the state security forces. These implementations cause grave concerns, such as the case of Cizre, a district of the province Şırnak in Turkey, close to the Syrian border. The curfew in Cizre and its reported brutality attest to the gravity of the situation. We are dismayed by the reports of security forces shooting and killing civilians, including infants and children, their obstructing medical aid and assistance, blocking necessary health care and services for the injured and ill, as well as denying proper burial for the dead. Delayed burials reportedly resulted in people struggling to preserve the body of their loved ones for several days in order to prevent body decay in the extreme heat of Cizre (40C/104F). In addition, reported food and water shortage, blocked communication means with Cizre have been unsettling to say the least. Ministers and deputies from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi, HDP) accompanied by representatives of various NGOs were not allowed to enter the district of Cizre. Further, the blocking of landlines and GSM operators, bans on the internet and the extreme measures of pressure implemented on journalists (i.e., imprisonment, prosecution, or, for foreign journalists, deportation) severely restrict means to access information as to what is happening in Cizre.  Whereas information is limited, there are serious concerns about the scale of a massacre endured by its inhabitants.

State and media elites appear to target the representatives of a legitimately elected political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and to criminalize them (i.e., as the responsible party for the escalating violence). Despite HDP representatives’ repeated calls for peace and the immediate cessation of fire, a discriminatory and brutal hate speech has dominated the political discourses about them. A new tide of violence and synchronized pogroms targeting Kurdish citizens, their homes and workplaces, as well as the Peoples’ Democratic Party headquarters and officials has swept the country. While security forces appear disconcertingly reluctant and inadequate to prevent such systematic attacks, state authorities appear to justify these inadmissible acts of violence as an emotional outburst..

We, the undersigned academics, call on the people of Turkey to take a stance in favor of peace, justice and co-existence. At a time when the right to life of the Kurdish citizens is under threat within the borders of Turkey, we call on all the political authorities to stand up for political resolution, justice and peace instead of arms and death.

[List currently in progress]

 1.          Ali Metin Büyükkarakaya, Doctor, Hacettepe University, Turkey

2.          Alp Eren Topal, Doctoral Student, Bilkent University, Turkey

3.          Amir Hassanpour, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

4.          Asiye Kumru, Professor, Özyeğin University, Turkey

5.          Aslı Iğsız, Assistant Professor, New York University, USA

6.          Aslı Zengin, Instructor, Brandeis University, USA

7.          Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

8.          Ayhan Yalçınkaya, Professor, Ankara University, Turkey

9.          Aysun Gezen, Ankara University, Turkey

10.       Ayşe Esra Dursun, Doctoral Student, University of Vienna, Austria

11.       Ayşe Parla, Associate Professor, Sabancı University, Turkey

12.       Ayşecan Terzioğlu, Assistant Professor, Koç University, Turkey

13.       Ayşe Gül Altınay, Associate Professor, Sabancı University, Turkey

14.       Bahar Şahin Fırat, Doctoral Student, Bosphorus University, Turkey

15.       Bahar Şimşek, Doctoral Student, Ankara University, Turkey

16.       Banu Bargu, Associate Professor, New School for Social Research, USA

17.       Baki Tezcan, Associate Professor, University of California, Davis, USA

18.       Başak Ertür, Doctor, Birbeck, University of London, UK

19.       Behrooz Chamanara, Doctoral Student, Georg-August University

20.       Begüm Uzun, Doctoral Student, Toronto University, Canada

21.       Berra Topçu, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

22.       Berrak Karahoda, Instructor, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

23.       Buket Türkmen, Associate Professor, Galatasaray University, Turkey

24.       Burak Köse, Doctoral Student, York University, Canada

25.       Bülent Bilmez, Associate Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

26.       Canan Acar, Doctoral Student, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada

27.       Cenk Özbay, Assistant Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

28.       Ceren Gamze Yaşar, Doctoral Student, Middle East Technical University, Turkey & University of Pennsylvania, USA

29.       Cihan Artunç, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, USA

30.       Cihat Arınç, Doctoral Student, Goldsmiths, London University, UK

31.       Cuma Çiçek, Assistant Professor, Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey

32.       Çağlar Dölek, Doctoral Student, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

33.       Çağrı Yoltar, Doctoral Student, Duke University, USA

34.       Çimen Günay-Erkol, Assistant Professor, Özyeğin University, Turkey

35.       Deniz Kimyon, Doctoral Student, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

36.       Deniz Yonucu, Associate Professor, Forum Transregionale Studien, Germany

37.       Deniz Zorlu, Doctoral Student, Queen’s University, Canada

38.       Dikmen Bezmez, Assistant Professor, Koç University, Turkey

39.       Dilan Okçuoglu, Doctoral Student, Queen’s University, Canada

40.       Dilan Yıldırım, Doctoral Student, Harvard University, USA

41.       Gülşah Kurt, Assistant Professor, Kadir Has University, Turkey

42.       Güliz Akkaymak, Doctoral Student, Western University, Canada

43.       Elçin Arabacı, Doctoral Student, Georgetown University, USA

44.       Evren Savcı, Instructor, San Fransisco State University, USA

45.       Dilara Demir, Doctoral Student, Rutgers, New Jersey Eyalet University, USA 

46.       Diren Yeşil, Doctoral Student, Vechta University, Germany

47.       Duygu Çelik, Doctoral Student, Istanbul University, Turkey

48.       Ebru Yılmaz, Doctoral Student, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre, France

49.       Eda Çakmakçı, Doctoral Student, Harvard University, USA

50.       Edip Gölbaşı, Doctoral Student, Simon Fraser University

51.       Emrah Altındiş, Doctor, Harvard University, USA

52.       Elçin Aktoprak, Assistant Professor, Ankara University, Turkey

53.       Eleanor Coghill, Substitute Professor, University of Konstanz, Germany

54.       Elif Babül, Assistant Professor, Mount Holyoke College, USA

55.       Emine Rezzan Karaman, Doctoral Student, UCLA, USA

56.       Emrah Yıldız, Doctoral Student, Harvard University, USA

57.       Ergin Öpengin, Postdoctoral Student, Bamberg University, Germany

58.       Faruk Birtek, Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

59.       Fatma Cizrelioğlu Karaer, Teaching Assistant, Marmara University, Turkey

60.       Ferdan Ergut, Associate Professor, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

61.       Ferhat Taylan, Instructor, Paris Ouest Nanterre University, France

62.       Fırat Bozçalı, Doctoral Student, Stanford University, USA

63.       Filiz Kahraman, Doctoral Student, University of Washington, USA

64.       Funda Üstek, Postdoctoral Researcher, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

65.       G. Ceren Deniz, Doctoral Student, Max Planck Institute, Germany

66.       Gevher Gökçe Acar, Assistant Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

67.       Gizem Tongo, Doctoral Student, Oxford University, UK

68.       Gül Özyeğin, Associate Professor, College of William and Mary, USA

69.       Günder Varinlioğlu, Assistant Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

70.       Gülay Türkmen-Dervişoglu, Doctoral Student, Yale University, USA

71.       Hakan Sandal, Doctoral Student, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

72.       Hikmet Kocamaner, Postdoctoral Student, Brandeis University, USA

73.       Hülya Dinçer, Research Assistant, Marmara University, Turkey

74.       Ilgın Erdem, Instructor, CUNY John Jay College, USA

75.       Işık Barış Fidaner, Doctoral Student, Bosphorus University, Turkey

76.       İclal Ayşe Küçükkırca, Assistant Professor, Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey

77.       İmge Oranlı, Doctor, Independent Scholar, USA

78.       İrem Kök, Doctoral Student, Oxford University, UK

79.       Jakub Galeziowski, Doctoral Student, University of Warsaw, Poland

80.       John William Day, Instructor, Bilkent University, Turkey

81.       Kelda Jamison, Doctoral Student, University of Chicago, USA

82.       Kemal Dinç, Instructor, Rotterdam Music Conservatory, Netherlands

83.       Lara Fresko, Doctoral Student, Cornell University, USA

84.       Levent Köker, Professor, Near East University, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

85.       Lewis Keir Johnson, Associate Professor, Bahçeşehir University, Turkey

86.       Leyla Neyzi, Professor, Sabancı University, Turkey

87.       Mehmet Odekon, Professor, Skidmore College, USA

88.       Meltem Gürle, Assistant Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

89.       Mete Atatüre, Professor, Cambridge University, UK

90.       Mine Yıldırım, Doctoral Student, New School for Social Research, USA

91.       Mine Gencel Bek, Professorö Ankara University, Turkey 

92.       Mithat Ishakoğlu, Doctoral Student, University of Exeter, UK

93.       Murat C. Yıldız, Postdoctoral Student, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, USA

94.       Mustafa Polat, Master Student, Istanbul University, Turkey

95.       Nazan Bedirhanoğlu, Research assistant, Ankara University, Turkey

96.       Nazand Begirkani, Research Fellow, University of Bristol, UK

97.       Neslihan Şen, Doctoral Student, University of Illinois-Chicago, USA

98.       Nicholas Glastonbury, Doctoral Student, CUNY Graduate Center, USA

99.       Nilay Özlü, Doctoral Student, Bosphorus University, Turkey

100.    Nisa Göksel, Doctoral Student, University of Northwestern, USA

101.    Nora Tataryan, Doctoral Student, University of Toronto, Canada

102.    Nur Betül Çelik, Professor, Ankara University, Turkey

103.    Nurseli Yeşim Sünbüloğlu, Doctoral Student, Sussex University, UK

104.    Nükhet Sirman, Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

105.    Nuri Korhan, Research Assistant, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

106.    Ozan Kamiloğlu, Doctoral Student, Birkbeck University, UK

107.    Ömer Faruk Yekdeş, Doctoral Student, Bosphorus University, Turkey

108.    Ömer Özcan, Doctoral Student, Texas University, Austin, USA

109.    Ömer Turan, Assistant Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

110.    Özde Çeliktemel-Thomen, Doctoral Student, University College London, UK

111.    Özge Ejder, Assistant Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

112.    Özge Ertem, Doctor, European University Institute Alumni, Italy

113.    Özlem Aslan, Doctoral Student, Toronto University, Canada

114.    Özlem Güçlü, Assistant Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University

115.    Pınar Dönmez, Instructor, Central European University, Hungary                    

116.    Pınar Kemerli, Postdoctoral Research Student, Washington and Lee University, USA

117.    Rıza Dervişoğlu, Postdoctoral Research Student, Radboud University, Netherlands

118.    Saadet Özen, Doctoral student, Bosphorus University, Turkey

119.    Salih Can Açıksöz, Assistant Professor, Arizona University, USA

120.    Seçil Dağtaş, Assistant Professor, Waterloo University, Canada

121.    Seçil Uluışık, Doctoral Student, Arizona University, USA

122.    Seda Altuğ, Assistant Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

123.    Seda Saluk, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA               

124.    Selen Artan, Doctoral Student, CUNY, USA

125.    Selin Altunkaynak, Doctoral Student, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain

126.    Selim Karlıtekin, Doctoral Student, Columbia University, USA

127.    Selim S. Kuru, Associate Professor, University of Washington, USA

128.    Selmin Kara, Assistant Professor, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

129.    Serkan Delice, Instructor, University of the Arts London, UK

130.    Serra Hakyemez, Doctoral Student, Johns Hopkins University, US

131.    Sertaç Sehlikoğlu, Instructor, University of Cambridge, UK

132.    Sevcan Tiftik, Instructor, Bilkent University, Turkey

133.    Sevi Bayraktar, Doctoral Student, California University, Los Angeles, USA

134.    Sibel Yardımcı, Associate Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

135.    Sinem Adar, Doctor, Gottingen University, Germany

136.    Sümeyye Kocaman, Doctoral Student, University of Oxford, UK

137.    T. Deniz Erkmen, Assistant Professor, Özyeğin University, Turkey

138.    Tessa Yuditha, Research Assistant, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands

139.    Tuğçe Ellialtı-Köse, Doctoral Student, University of Pennsylvania, US

140.    Uğur Yağan, Research Assistant, Ankara University, Turkey

141.    Umut Tümay Aslan, Associate Professor, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

142.    Umut Yıldırım, Instructor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

143.    Ülker Sözen, Research Assistant, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Turkey

144.    Ümit Taner, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, US

145.    Veli Yadırgı, Doctor, SOAS, University of London, UK

146.    Welat Zeydanlıoğlu, Doctor, Kurdish Studies Journal, UK

147.    Wendy Hamelink, Research Fellow, Leiden University, Netherlands

148.    Yael-Navaro Yashin, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge, UK

149.    Yalçın Özkan, Doctoral Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst, US

150.    Yahya M. Madra, Associate Professor, Bosphorus University, Turkey

151.    Yan Overfield Shaw, Instructor, Bilkent University, Turkey

152.    Yeşim Yasin, Assistant Professor, Acıbadem University, Turkey

153.    Yiğitcan Eryaman, Research Assistant, University of Minnesota, US

154.    Zafer Yılmaz, Doctor, Ankara University, Turkey

155.    Zerrin Özlem Biner, Research Assistant, University of Cambridge, UK

156.    Zeynep Atalay, Assistant Professor, St. Mary’s College of California, US

157.    Zeynep Kıvılcım, Associate Professor, Istanbul University, Turkey  

158.    Zeynep Korkman, Assistant Professor, University of Arizona, US

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