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Turkey Media Roundup (February 9)

[Şırnak Silopi, January 19. Image by Fatih Pınar]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Violence in the Southeast/Kurdish Politics Turkish Government Determined not to Withdraw from PKK Fight Murat Yetkin discusses the reasons why the Turkish government will not back down from its protracted military operations in Kurdish regions: namely, because it does not want to allow the PKK the opportunity to make “victory propaganda” and ...

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Letter by American Sociological Association Expressing Concern for Signatories of Academics for Peace Statement in Turkey

  [The following letter was issued by the American Sociological Association on 29 January 2016 regarding ongoing threats to academic freedom in Turkey.] Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via Email: cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr We write on behalf of more than 12,000 members of the American Sociological Association to express our grave concern about the actions that the Turkish government has taken against signatories to the Academics for Peace statement. The American Sociological Association has a long-standing position of supporting the free exchange of ideas across national, state, cultural, ...

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Emergencies of Peace: The Exceptional State of (Academic) Affairs in Contemporary Turkey

On 27 January 2016, the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Politica Science hosted a panel discussion titled “Emergencies of Peace: The Exceptional State of (Academic) Affairs in Contemporary Turkey.” This panel was organized by the Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity (ICPS) research group led by Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor in Human Rights at LSE, and a co-editor of Jadaliyya's Turkey Page. The panel addressed the legal and extra-legal persecution of more than 1000 academics in Turkey for having signed a peace petition. The various panelists situated this attack on academics within ...

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Joint Letter by Global Higher Education Networks in Support of Turkey's Higher Education and Research Community

[The following press release was issued by Scholars at Risk on 21 January 2016 to publicize the joint letter endorsed by 20 higher education networks and associations regarding concerns over widespread pressures on members of Turkey's higher education and research community.] Press Release: Global Higher Education Networks Stand with Turkish Scholars New York, January 21, 2016 – This afternoon, a coalition of 20 higher education networks and associations from around the world have issued a joint public letter expressing grave concern over recent reports of widespread pressures on members of Turkey’s higher education and research community. The letter responds to ...

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Letter by American Anthropological Association Regarding Repression of Academics in Turkey

[The folllowing letter was issued by the American Anthropological Assosication on 17 January 2016 in regards to the ongoing repression of academics in Turkey] January 17, 2016 Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476; +90 312 403 62 82; + 90 312 422 26 67 We write as members of the American Anthropological Association’s Committee for Human Rights (CfHR) to express our grave concern over reports that the Turkish government's public criticism of Academics for Peace has prompted governmental, political, and professional repression of academics throughout Turkey. We understand that ...

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Statement of Concern by Professors of Turkish Studies and Ottoman History Regarding Diminishing Academic Freedoms in Turkey

[Map of Turkey]

[The following statement was issued by a group of scholars of Turkish Studies and Ottoman History on 20 January 2016 in regards to concerns over academic freedoms and freedom of expression in Turkey.] Statement For Academic Freedom In Turkey Prof. Dr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey We, the undersigned professors of Turkish Studies and Ottoman History working at various universities throughout the world, from the USA to Asia, declare that we are profoundly concerned about the diminishing academic freedoms in Turkey.  On 10 January 2016, 1128 academics from Turkey and 356 from abroad signed a petition calling the Republic of Turkey to ...

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Under Fire: Translating the Growing Crisis in the Kurdish Cities of Turkey’s Southeast

Scene of destruction after a curfew in Nusaybin, 26 November 2015. Image provided by the author.

Turkey’s sokağa çıkma yasağı is being mistranslated, with serious consequences. Turkey’s decades-long conflict with Kurdish militants and its unresolved inclusion of Kurds into greater Turkish society has in recent months reached a new and violent phase. The current encounter, largely between Turkish state forces and a new urban youth group, the YDG-H (Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement; Tevgera Ciwanen Welatparêz Yên Şoreşger) affiliated with the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party; Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê), is taking place in the streets of the Kurdish cities of Turkey’s southeast. Pressure on the civilians caught between these two forces has gotten worse ...

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Urgent Call for Action by Middle East Studies Association on Behalf of Turkish Colleagues

The Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF) calls on MESA members to respond to an unprecedented assault on academics and academic freedom in Turkey. Last week a group of  1128 Turkish scholars (together with over 355 academics outside of Turkey) signed a petition for peace in the Kurdish regions of the country.  In the wake of its publication, President Erdoǧan criticized it in a public address, and called the signatories “traitors”.  Within a day of this speech several universities initiated punitive measures against faculty who had signed the “Peace Petition,” and several signatories, at both public and private ...

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Letter to Turkish PM Davutoglu Concerning Turkish Higher Education Council's Condemnation of Scholars for Signing Peace Petition

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 14 January 2016.] Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476; +90 312 403 62 82; + 90 312 422 26 67 Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu: We write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom to express our serious concern over reports that the Higher Education Council (Yüksek Öğretim Kurulu, or YÖK) had an emergency meeting to commence an investigation against scholars who signed a petition for peace in the Kurdish ...

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Petition Protesting Comments Made by Celal Sengor Concerning Torture and the 1980 Coup in Turkey

[Map of Turkey]

[The following petition was issued in December 2015 in the aftermath and in opposition to comments made by Celal Sengor in an interview.] Dear members of the Committee on Human Rights of the NAS, NAE, and NAM, We are writing to bring to your attention the deplorable remarks made recently by Celal Sengor, a Turkish geologist and a foreign member to the National Academy of Sciences. In an interview he gave to the mainstream Turkish daily, Radikal, Sengor blatantly stated that being forced to eat human excrement is not a form of torture. Celal Sengor also praised the generals who were responsible for the 1980 coup, and asserted that to this day he supports all the actions ...

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After Tahir Elçi

[Still image from the video capturing the assassination of Tahir Elçi on 28 November 2015. Via YouTube.]

It is only possible to make sense of what is going on in Kurdistan today by way of its homology with the American occupation of Iraq. Because in Kurdistan, the state and resistance to the state do not share any legal or social foundations whatsoever. We are in fact discussing two entirely separate worlds that can only be related to one another through the field of violence and that otherwise function according to entirely different logics. Tahir Elçi’s death brings together the grief of losing someone we all loved dearly with the pain of bearing witness to this kind of disjuncture. It is not easy to get over any death. But the death of Tahir Elçi became a death that ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community

[Cover of Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, editors,

Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, editors, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Universtiry Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Sossie Kasbarian (SK): The book came out of a workshop that we convened at the University of Edinburgh in October 2011. At the time, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) based at Islamic and Middle East Studies (IMES) at the University of Edinburgh. During my time there, Tony and I set up an MSc in Middle East Diasporas and were teaching the two core courses; one was theory focused, while the other ...

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Speaking Truth to Power: A Panel on Academic Freedoms and the War Against Kurds in Turkey (17 February, CUNY Graduate Center, New York)

February 17, 2016 6:00-8:00 PM The Graduate Center, CUNY 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Room C198 (Concourse Level) Reception to follow. Please bring ID to enter the building. More information can be found here. A panel discussion with David Harvey, Nazan Üstündağ, Aslı Iğsız and Kamal Soleimani, moderated by Anthony Alessandrini. Following the June 2015 general elections, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) renewed the state’s forty-year-long war against Kurds. This move ended the ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (February 2)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Violence in the Southeast Ambulances Halted as Turkey Besieges Kurdish Town Frederike Geerdink describes the efforts by lawyers to secure ECHR support for Turkish citizens ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (January 26)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Ninth Anniversary of Hrant Dink’s Assassination Justice, Peace Watch for Assassinated Journalist Hrant Dink Bianet covers the vigil in front of the Agos ...

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Letter by American Political Science Association Regarding Academic Freedom in Turkey

[The following letter was issued by the American Politica Science Association on 18 January 2016 regarding recent infringments on academic freedom in Turkey] Letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding academic freedom in Turkey January 18, 2016 H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President of the Republic of Turkey T.C. Cumhurbaşkanlığı Genel Sekreterliği 06689 Çankaya, Ankara Turkey Via Email: cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr President Erdoğan: On behalf of the American Political ...

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Urgent Call for Action by Women’s Freedom Assembly in Turkey

[The following statement was issued by Women's Freedom Assembly (KÖM) on 18 January 2016 as a call for international women's solidarity in regards to the ongoing war in the Kurdish region and growing repression of dissent in Turkey.] To Women’s Organizations: Urgent Call for Action Women’s Freedom Assembly (KÖM) is calling on your solidarity against the war and massacres that we have been living through for the past eight months. The AKP government and President Tayyip Erdoğan are repressing, through ...

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Third Annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon

Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon, Beirut, 9-10 November 2015. Sandwiched between the Beirut International Film Festival and a slew of ongoing fall film offerings, the third annual Cultural Resistance International Film Festival of Lebanon (CRIFF) concluded in mid-November. This curiously-named, soon-to-be-renamed-and-revamped festival remains noteworthy for its unique Asia-Mediterranean focus, notwithstanding the modest size of the three-film package that was curated for this ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (January 19)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Violence in the Southeast Violence Dominates Politics Mümtaz'er Türköne decries a recent PKK on a police family lodgings in Diyarbakır, comparing the ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (January 13)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Kurdish Politics Was the Reconciliation Process Betrayal? Hayrettin Karaman contends that the Turkish government has tried to maintain the peace and ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (2015 Year-End Review)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Peace Rally Bombings in Ankara Sirin's Story: A Voice Raised and Silenced On the morning of October 10, the most deadly bombing in Turkey’s history killed 102 and injured ...

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Urgent Call for Solidarity and Action from the Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municipalities

[The following call for action was issued by Giiltan Kianak on behlaf of the Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municipalities.] Union of Southeastern Anatolia Region Municialities Urgent Call for Solidarity and Action  In the course of armed conflict that restarted in the Kurdish region of Turkey after general elections in June 2015, 186 civilians most of which are women or children have died so far, hundreds of them were injured and thousands of people were arrested. Concerning co-mayors ...

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‘New Turkey’: Toward an Authoritarian and Sectarian Police State

Tahir Elçi, the president of the bar association in southeastern Diyarbakır province and a determined Kurdish human rights lawyer, was shot dead on Saturday, 28 November, during a press statement he had delivered in Diyarbakır. Photos of Elçi’s dead body lying on the ground quickly overwhelmed social media accounts, symbolizing the deadly difficulty of talking about and fighting for peace at this critical juncture that Turkey, and the region at large, are going through. Despite the fact that Turkey is ...

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Investigate Killing of Kurdish Human Rights Activist and Lawyer

[This statement was released by Project 2015 on 29 November 2015.] Apparent Assassination Latest in Spate of Targeted Attacks against Kurdish Peace Activists Project 2015 today condemned the apparent assassination of Tahir Elci, a prominent lawyer and Kurdish human rights activist who headed the Diyarbakir Bar Association. An unknown assailant reportedly shot Elci with a bullet to the head while Elci was delivering remarks at a press conference in Diyarbakir calling for an end to the ongoing ...

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