The Peace Petition and the Academic Purge in Turkey
Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | In this panel discussion, two academics, E. Ahmet Tonak, and Burcu Yasemin Seyben, who were among the 1,128 signatories of the Peace Petition will tell their own stories while explaining the current situation of academics both in Turkey and abroad.
On 11 January 2016, 1,128 academics in Turkey and over 355 academics and researchers from abroad issued a peace petition titled “We refuse complicity with this crime!” The Peace Petition was a protest against the exacerbating state violence inflicted on the Kurdish population of Turkey, resulting in the death of many civilians who were mostly women and children. Since January 2016 most of these academics have been through disciplinary investigations, many dismissed from universities or forced to resign or to retire. Many had to report to the police for interrogation. Some were taken into custody at pre-dawn raids, their homes searched, and their digital possessions seized. Several were arrested and kept in pre-trial detention. After the failed coup of 15th July 2016, the government started to abuse the State of Emergency declared immediately after that incident in order to expel on the basis of its Decree-Laws many of the signatories from their university posts, along with others dismissed for other reasons, e.g. trade union work.