For a Peaceful Resolution to the Kurdish Conflict – No Repression for “Academics for Peace” Petition Signatories in Turkey!

Translated from German by Translators for justice


January 2016

We the undersigned, academics at German colleges and universities, are alarmed by the developments in Turkey that have already claimed the lives of numerous civilians and destroyed Kurdish cities just like the ones in Syria.

We support the “Academics for Peace” petition issued by our colleagues. It demands that the Turkish government return to the negotiating table to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict.

At the same time, we join world-renowned scholars like Judith Butler and Noam Chomsky in declaring our solidarity with the 1,128 “Academics for Peace” signatories. President Erdoğan has accused these Turkish scholars of being “traitors of the country” and the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) has called on them to resign. The authorities have already initiated criminal proceedings and some have lost their jobs.

Even Sedat Peker, leader of a large nationalist and criminal network who was convicted several years ago for various crimes and for establishing a criminal organization in Turkey, has once more become socially acceptable. With no hesitation or consequences, he can openly threaten academics by saying that he will, “shed liters of their blood” and “bathe in it.” It is incomprehensible that the Turkish authorities have not taken action against such intimidation and threats against scholars.

It is the duty of scholarship to contribute to peaceful coexistence and to demonstrate peaceful solutions. Scholarship aids international understanding as well. As long as the war against Kurdish people continues, the opposition is silenced, the media is intimidated and academic repression continues, it will make collaboration with Turkish universities impossible for us as academics who are committed to freedom of research and education.

We especially call on representatives of the German government and the European Union, if they are still committed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention, to take every opportunity to work toward a peaceful solution to the Kurdish conflict, to clearly position themselves against repression and to work for freedom of scientific thought and political opposition.

Please support our colleagues in Turkey. Add your signature to help disseminate the call.

Prof. Christine Huth-Hildebrandt             Prof. Gazi Çağlar

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