21 Turkish academics under investigation for signing petition
Jan 16, Ankara: Investigation warrants have been issued for 21 academics from Kocaeli University who have signed a declaration entitled “We will not be a party to this crime.” 12 of them have been taken into custody.
According to a report by Hürriyet daily about the investigation conducted by the Kocaeli Chief Public Prosecution, the academics have been taken into custody on grounds of “overtly insulting the Turkish nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey, [the] Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of [the] Republic of Turkey and the judicial organs of the state and “[propagandizing] for the terrorist organization”.
Police teams have taken 12 of the academics into custody. Investigation procedures concerning the other nine are ongoing.
The university has also launched an investigation.
Kocaeli University Senate also noted in its press statement from yesterday (14 January 2016) that an investigation has been launched against the academics by the rectorship.
“Taking a determined stand against all kinds of terror, Kocaeli University considers this approach of the academics a support for terror and condemn[s] the issued declaration fiercely. In this sense, we would like to respectfully announce to the public that the investigation process has been launched by our rectorship.”
The petition was led by Academics for Peace and called on the state of Turkey to put an end to violence and prepare the conditions for negotiations. It had been issued with the signatures of 1,128 academics and researchers from 89 universities.
The declaration titled “We will not be a party to this crime” had been issued on January 11 2016. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had called the academics “crappy so-called intellectuals” and YÖK had made the statement “necessary actions will be taken”.
Many universities have issued statements reacting against the declaration on their websites. In their statements, the emphasis made on their support for the operations of the state and regarding the declaration as “support for terror” have come to the forefront.
The Oslo Times