Dear Professors and Colleagues,
In the Kurdish region of Turkey, since 16 August 2015, there have been 58 officially confirmed, open-ended curfews in 19 districts of 7 cities. Human causalities increase day by day, hundreds of civilians lost their lives. You can find more information about the situation in the following links.
1. Fact sheet by Human Rights Foundation of Turkey http://en.tihv.org.tr/fact-sheet-on-declared-curfews-in-turkey-between-11-december-2015-8-january-2016/
2. Call by Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/get-involved/take-action-now/turkey-stop-imposing-arbitrary-restrictions-on-freedom-of-movement-ua-616
A group of academics launched a petition in Turkey, signed by 1128 academics in Turkey and supported by 356 international ones by January 10th. The international supporters include David Harvey, Noam Chomsky, Etienne Balibar, Erik Swyngedouw, Judith Butler and many others.
And today, after a very brutal attack on tourists in İstanbul by the ISIS; Turkish President Erdoğan made a defiant speech, mostly attacking on this petition and those who signed it.
Hereby is the info by Guardian on this issue:
‘In a typically defiant speech Erdoğan attacked foreign academics and writers, including Noam Chomsky for criticism of his government.
He said: “Pick a side. You are either on the side of the Turkish government, or you’re on the side of the terrorists’. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jan/12/istanbul-explosion-several-reported-killed-in-tourist-area-live-updates)
Just 2 hours after this speech, Turkish Higher Education Council announced that it would launch an investigation against those who signed in Turkey. In this situation supporting the academics in Turkey is much more crucial.
I would like to ask you to sign this petition in order to show solidarity and if it is possible to convey this message to your colleagues.
You can sign the petition by sending a mail (stating your name, position and university) to email@example.com
Thank you very much for your interest.
Academics for Peace
As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!
The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.
This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.
We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.
We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.
We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met.
For international support, please send your signature, name of your university and your title to firstname.lastname@example.org