Turkey has been accused of violating academic freedom by rounding up university teachers who signed a petition denouncing military operations against Kurds in the south-east of the country.
Police detained 19 academics over alleged ‘terror propaganda’ after they signed a petition together with more than 1,400 others calling for an end to Turkey’s “deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish people”.
The US ambassador to Turkey condemned the crackdown as ‘chilling’.
Fifteen of the group were later released.
President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has severely criticised the signatories including political scientist Noam Chomsky and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and called on the judiciary to act against their alleged treachery.
Prosecutors launched an investigation into the academics over possible charges of insulting the state and engaging in terrorist propaganda.
Staff from 90 Turkish universities calling themselves ‘Academicians for Peace’ signed the petition last week calling for an end to the military campaign against the Kurds and accusing the government of breaching international law.
Entitled ‘We won’t be a party to this crime’ the petition urged Ankara to ‘abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region’.
All 1,128 Turkish signatories of the petition are under investigation – according to the Do?an news agency.
If convicted they could face between one and five years in prison.
Because what’s holiday dinner without some know-it-all tidbits to share?
The Turkish government has resumed a crackdown on journalists and political rivals of Recep Tayyip Erdogan just two days after a major electoral victory for his party that will see it return to single-party rule.
Police officers and bureaucrats loyal to an exiled cleric based in the US are among dozens of people who have been arrested by Turkish authorities in an ongoing move against a group whose members have become bitter rivals of the president.
Two senior editors at an opposition-aligned magazine were also detained on Tuesday.