As reported the other day, academics in Turkey are at risk of investigation and prosecution by the Turkish government for signing a petition calling for “the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples.” There were several dozen philosophers among the signatories.
According to one source, two philosophers from one university were detained by investigators yesterday, but have now been released. Another university is investigating several of its philosophers. Efforts are underway to learn about investigations at other universities, and of any other threats to philosophers. The source says: “things are looking very dark.”
For the sake of their safety, I am not at this time disclosing the names of any of these philosophers or their institutions. I will share news of further developments as it becomes available.
If you have relevant information to share, please email me.
I returned from Istanbul two days ago and witnessed first hand the unprecedented attack on academic freedom that is taking place in Turkey. This is the worst it has been since the days of the military junta. Professors are being dismissed, investigated and detained. Their lives are being put in danger. Since my work takes me to Turkey on a regular basis, I was advised early on by Turkish colleagues not to sign the peace petition because this could jeopardize my visa status. They urged me to seek support from colleagues in the States. The US ambassador has spoken out “diplomatically” against this crackdown but was viciously attacked by AKP politicians and been declared persona non grata by the mayor of Ankara (see: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/01/turkey-usa-ankara-mayor-ambassador.html) . Vice President Biden will be traveling to Turkey soon. I urge all readers to press the Obama administration and Biden to take up this issue with the Turkish government.