New Events

International

no events posted in last week

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link No law for the powerful, strict enforcement for decent citizens

offsite link Garda corruption: the stripped down truth Anthony

offsite link Will Pat Hickey turn up for his trial? Anthony

offsite link Garda breath tests letter Anthony

offsite link Daniel McConnell: Happy to wear establishment blinkers Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Syrian War Report ? February 23, 2018: Syrian Army Enters YPG-held Part Of Aleppo, Turkey Strikes Co... Sat Feb 24, 2018 03:19 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... On February 22, units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) entered into and established a full control of the YPG-held neighborhoods of Aleppo city, according to pro-government sources. A

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2018/02/23 ? Open Thread Fri Feb 23, 2018 18:00 | Herb Swanson
2018/02/23 18:00:01 Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions

offsite link Globally Top-Respected Experts on Middle East Warn Syrian War May Produce WW III Fri Feb 23, 2018 17:08 | The Saker
by Eric Zuesse for The Saker blog Abdel Bari Atwan, the retired editor-in-chief (1989-2013) of the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi and author of widely respected books on the

offsite link 23 February 2014, SitRep Sevastopol Fri Feb 23, 2018 15:11 | The Saker
Today, 23 February, is the anniversary of the City of Sevastopol cementing it?s course of leaving Ukraine. I personally think that soon this will be a holiday in this City

offsite link Syrian War Report ? February 22, 2018: Russia Moves Its Advanced Su-57 Stealth Fighters Into Syria Fri Feb 23, 2018 05:20 | Scott
https://southfront.org/syrian-war-rep... On February 21, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the villages of Qara Baba, Kirbet Siluki and Vergan from the Kurdish People?s Protection

The Saker >>

Human Rights in Ireland
www.humanrights.ie

offsite link Repeal and Replace? Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:58 | Fiona de Londras

offsite link Shifting Sands Under the Abortion Debate Mon Jan 15, 2018 09:30 | GuestPost

offsite link Liberty, the ICCL, and other NGO groups? landmark challenge against the UK Government?s mass surveil... Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:56 | admin

offsite link What Ireland can gain from international guidance on Article 19 UNCRPD Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:53 | Eilionoir Flynn

offsite link Repeal or Replace? Tue Oct 03, 2017 06:31 | Fiona de Londras

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Cedar Lounge
For lefties too stubborn to quit

offsite link Anti-Conscription Conference ? 18th April 2018 17:55 Sun Feb 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Stupid statements addendum: UK universities strike update 12:03 Sun Feb 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Sunday and the Week?s Media and other Stupid Statements 07:44 Sun Feb 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link SBP/RedC poll? FF up. 18:46 Sat Feb 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

offsite link Dispatch From Mar-A-Lago: L7?s view on Trump and the world 14:26 Sat Feb 24, 2018 | WorldbyStorm

Cedar Lounge >>

TURKEY’S WAR AGAINST THE ACADEMICS…

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Friday June 30, 2017 11:17author by séamas carraher - globalrights.infoauthor email cultureofliberation at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Two recent studies have once again drawn attention to the unprecedented crackdown – even by Turkish standards based on previous episodes of severe State repression – on academics and intellectual freedom in post coup Turkey.

“… the case of Turkey as part of a global attack on academic freedom, an attack that could only be countered by developing transnational networks of solidarity firmly grounded precisely in those values that the likes of Erdoğan, Orbán, May, Trump, and their ideological kith and kin across the world are determined to eradicate.” Umut Özkirimli

Two recent studies have once again drawn attention to the unprecedented crackdown – even by Turkish standards based on previous episodes of severe State repression – on academics and intellectual freedom in post coup Turkey.

How to Liquidate a People? Academic Freedom in Turkey and Beyond by Umut Özkirimli, from Lund University in Sweden.

(http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.20...=true)

and

Education as Battleground: The Capture of Minds in Turkey by Deniz Kandiyoti and Zühre Emanet, from the University of London, who claim that “these threats to Turkey’s scholars’ careers, well-being, and constitutional right to academic freedom not only violate basic human rights, but risk the rapid erosion of academic standards, irrecoverable losses in their potential for innovative and critical thinking, and potential brain drain of their most gifted members.”

(http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.20...ecsys)

Both reports were published in May 2017.

Since the coup in Turkey an estimated 100,000 public servants have either been suspended or dismissed, many of which have also faced detention and other infringements of their needs and rights… out of which 4,811 academics have also been sacked since last July. A lifetime ban from employment as civil servants has been imposed on most of the dismissed academic personnel; likewise many of their passports have been confiscated or cancelled; and the right to access public housing has been revoked for these 4,811 academics.

“When Turkey’s teachers returned to school in September 2016, they found their numbers decimated by expulsions, (nearly 10,000 of the teachers fired or suspended after July 15 have been members of the Egitim-Sen, a left-leaning union, which often rallies alongside the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party, or HDP, itself now the target of an investigation for suspected ties to the PKK), more than half their textbooks gone, and some 2250 educational institutions sealed off. An alleged 13,000 tons of textbooks were scrapped and the rest expunged of ‘terrorist’ content. Primary, lower secondary and secondary school students spent most of the first day of school watching videos about the ‘triumph of democracy’ over the coup plotters, and listening to speeches equating the civilian counter-coup that aborted the takeover with historic Ottoman victories going back 1000 years.” (Deniz Kandiyoti and Zühre Emanet)

Not that they were trying to piss President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan off but as Umut Özkirimli has showed, many of the dismissed academics succeeded in doing just that with the launch of their Peace Declaration early in 2016.

On 11 January 2016, 1,128 academics from 89 universities in Turkey, and over 355 academics and researchers from abroad (including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar and David Harvey among others) signed a text calling on the Turkish State to end state violence against, and to enter talks with, the Kurds in south-east Turkey.

They said, loud and clear:

The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.

This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.

We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.

We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.

We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met
.”

Erdoğan’s reply was no less forthright, if a lot more disturbing, coming from a head of state in a modern democracy:

“There is this bunch, they call themselves academics, vilifying their own state which tries to protect its territories against a terrorist organization…These so-called academics talk about the massacres of the state. You, pseudo-intellectuals, you are ignorant, you represent the darkness … You are either with the state or with terrorists, terrorist organizations” (12 January 2016)

The president continued his attack on the 14 and 15 of January, respectively:

“The issue here is the imposition of the rhetoric and the viewpoint of the terrorist organization, which is nothing but lies, distortions, propaganda, for public opinion. There is practically no difference between firing a gun in the name of the terrorist organization and spreading its propaganda.

Our nation should know clearly who is who. Having the title of professor, associate professor or whatever does not make one an intellectual. These are dark people. These are cruel, vile people. Because those who stand together with vile people are also vile; those who side with the perpetrators of massacres are part of these massacres themselves and have committed the same crimes. I have called on the judiciary and university administrations to act on this as the signatories have violated the constitution and existing laws by signing this declaration.” (Cumhuriyet, 15 January 2016)

Umut Özkirimli, made this response:

“Needless to say, the Turkish government’s ‘war on academe’ is neither unique nor new. Anti-intellectualism has been the hallmark of authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, past and present, left and right, and a defining feature of populism—the dreary buzzword of the times we live in. Not a day passes by without a politician or a pundit targeting reputable institutions of higher education or chastizing ‘sneering liberal elites’, ‘Leftist academics’, ‘SocJus Activists’, whether it is Viktor Orbán pushing for a bill that would force Central European University in Budapest to close its doors, Donald J. Trump accusing Global Warming scientists ‘to be stuck in ice’, Michael Gove (a leading figure of the Brexit campaign) declaring ‘People in this country have had enough of experts’, to name but a few. The various contributors to this special issue thus consider the case of Turkey as part of a global attack on academic freedom, an attack that could only be countered by developing transnational networks of solidarity firmly grounded precisely in those values that the likes of Erdoğan, Orbán, May, Trump, and their ideological kith and kin across the world are determined to eradicate.”

Scholars at Risk, the US based international NGO (“an international network of over 400 universities and colleges in 40 countries dedicated to promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion, expression, association and travel”) has organised a campaign to continue its support of Turkish academics and intellectuals including calling on President Erdoğan to:

…ensure the earliest release of detained individuals, including higher education personnel, and pending this ensure their well-being in custody, including by disclosing their current locations and granting access to counsel, family and medical treatment;
ensure that any proceedings, charges, convictions, suspensions, travel restrictions or other penalties against higher education professionals stemming from their peaceful exercise of academic freedom and related rights are reversed and pending this ensure that any such actions observe internationally recognized due process and fair trial standards, in accordance with Turkey’s obligations under international and domestic law; and ensure that Turkey honors its international and domestic legal obligations, including under the constitution, to protect institutional autonomy and academic freedom, and by doing so limits the near – and long- term damage to higher education personnel and to the reputation and operation of Turkey’s higher education sector.

Related Link: http://www.globalrights.info/2017/06/turkeys-war-agains...mics/
© 2001-2018 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy