Solidarity with Purged Academics for Peace in Turkey

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The Story

We urgently request donations to establish an emergency fund, Academics for Peace, to support faculty who lost their jobs, pensions, and their right to travel abroad after the recent crackdown targeting academic freedom in Turkey. This fund will be made exclusively available to purged faculty through close collaboration with the union Egitim-Sen and other associations that are actively assisting the purged scholars at the local and international level.
Help us reach our goal of $105,000. We aim to support an equivalent of 35 academics for a period of 6 months with minimum wage in Turkey (approx. $500). Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for this donation.
Background
In January 2016, 1,128 concerned academics in Turkey (and 356 international scholars) signed a peace declaration called  “We will not be a party to this crime”. These academics, known as “Academics for Peace”, were then targeted by the Turkish government and the media, because they called upon the state authorities to end the curfews and stop the human right violations in the Kurdish provinces of Turkey. Signatories were prosecuted and subjected to disciplinary investigations by their universities. This persecution inspired widespread solidarity campaigns around the world, which have collected over 2,000 signatures. Thousands of academics and academic organizations around the world condemned the prosecutions, including the National Academy of Sciences Human Rights Commission that published a statement signed by several Nobel Prize laureates.
As of March 2017, at least 383 signatories, many of whom are leading academics in their fields, have been purged from Turkish universities through several statutory decrees and forced resignations. Four academics were detained, and many more had to flee the country. It is unclear if those affected will be able to appeal the decisions that ended their careers, canceled their passports, and banned their travel. The path to reversing the unjust decisions is long and arduous. During this time, these scholars need to sustain their lives and support their families. Funds for this campaign will be fully allocated to financially support the Academics for Peace through close collaboration with their union Egitim-Sen and other associations which are actively assisting the purged scholars at the local and international level.
Help us reach our goal of $105,000. We aim to support an equivalent of 35 academics for a period of 6 months with minimum wage in Turkey (approx. $500).Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for this donation.

Research Institute on Turkey
is a tax exempt charitable organization in the US under an Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)(3). Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. No goods or services were provided in exchange for this donation. If you would rather contribute by sending a check, please contact us.EMPLOYER MATCH!!!  Ask your employer to match your donation!
You’ll need to use the name Research Institute on Turkey, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization with Tax ID # 81-4004031
Let them know the project name Support Academics for Peace in Turkey.
Organizers:RESEARCH INSTITUTE on TURKEY | Bostonbul | GIT-North America and concerned academics from the US and Canada

Press Release at Boston Consulate of Turkey Protest

To The Members of the Press, International Human Rights Organizations, and the People of Boston,

We are students, academics, intellectuals, artists, workers, business people and citizens of Boston. We are here today to show our continued solidarity with our friends in Turkey who, as a reaction to their mass protests, have been subjected to immense police brutality by the Erdogan/AKP administration.

Since Monday, May 27th, what has started as a movement to peacefully protest the demolition of a public park and its replacement with a shopping mall, turned into a mass struggle of people of Turkey. It has become the struggle for human rights, freedom of expression and a participatory democratic culture. Throughout the past 10 days, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the movement in many cities across Turkey and around the world. Turkish police have continuously subjected the protestors to immense violence including excessive use of water cannons, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and beatings, causing three confirmed deaths and at least 2000 injured with many more affected by gas on the streets and at their homes. More specifically, the tear gas canisters have been targeted for shooting people. There have been thousands of people detained including people who express their opinions via Twitter. This ongoing disproportionate reaction and atrocious violence by the government against its own citizens cannot be justified in any way.

We are outraged by the magnitude of human rights violations and the increasing fear and oppression culture in Turkey. The Turkish constitution guarantees the right to peacefully demonstrate and to voice one’s opinion about matters of public policy. We are here to reaffirm that the freedom of thought and expression, and the differences in opinions are essential in any democratic society. We are here to remind the Turkish Government its obligations under international law to respect human rights, including but not limited to women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, minority rights, animal rights and the right to a sustainable environment. Rights that our brothers and sisters are defending with their lives in Turkey. Even now, as these massive protests are going on, the parliament, with a majority of AKP members, is using these events as a distraction for the people and is working on passing laws that will harm the environment even further. But, we are watching!

We also condemn the inconsistency and bias of the mainstream media. While we are following the news through social media and foreign news agencies, Turkey’s mainstream media’s downplay of the events is astonishing as well as extremely concerning. The people of Turkey have a right to a free press.

The government spokespeople’s and prime minister Erdogan’s attempts to marginalize the protestors and the movement as the act of a certain group or ideology is futile. This is a movement of the people of Turkey. We are calling on the international community to support the rights of the people to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in Turkey. In line with the demands of Gezi Park protestors in Turkey, we demand an immediate end to the oppression and police brutality on the streets and elsewhere, not only in Istanbul but also in other provinces around Turkey, primarily including Antakya, Dersim, Izmir and Ankara as of today. We demand that all those injured have prompt access to medical care. We demand that human rights safeguards during arrest and detention be upheld and we demand that our friends all across the country, who are already detained for having protested in peace, be released immediately. We demand those responsible for the brutality to be held accountable. We demand the establishment and maintenance of a participatory democracy, respectful to the people’s rights and freedoms. To our friends, brothers and sisters in Turkey: let our voice echo your struggle! In solidarity…