Turkey: First hearing of the court cases for 5 academics dismissed for signing a Peace declaration


On 5 December 2017, the first hearing takes place in Istanbul Caglayan Courthouse for the court cases of 5 academics dismissed after signing the declaration "Academics for Peace" in the wake of the failed coup attempt.

Early in 2016, around 1128 academics, many of whom EGITIM-SEN members, had signed the declaration asking for peace in the country and had shared the document with the public. As a consequence, the Public Prosecutor of Istanbul filed court cases against each of the 1128 signatory academics, individually accusing them of terrorist actions and sentencing them to prison of up to 7.5 years.

Issuing decree laws through the state of emergency which it had declared on 20 July 2016, the Turkish government also dismissed 375 academics who had signed the declaration. During that period, 341 Eğitim Sen  members from different universities were dismissed.

Responding to the call for support from their sister organisation Eğitim Sen, delegates from 7 ETUCE member organisations from Cyprus, Denmark, Spain and the United Kingdom are on site sending a strong signal of international solidarity of education trade unions. The EI/ETUCE delegation is headed by Mike Jennings, ETUCE Bureau member and former member to the ETUCE Standing Committee for Higher Education and Research (HERSC).

Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director said: “As a full member to the Bologna Process since 2001, Turkey is well aware that academic freedom and autonomy lay the foundation for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). It is unacceptable that exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms, citizens are being subjected to punitive measures in Turkey. We – representatives of teachers and academics in Europe – do not turn a blind eye to the situation. We continue to fight for human rights, academic freedom, universal values and quality education for all."