Letter Details Persecution of Turkish Scholars

February 23, 2016

The Middle East Studies Association’s new letter to Turkish government officials raising concerns about the “pattern of persecution” against scholars who signed a petition opposing military actions in Turkey's southeast includes a “nonexhaustive” nine-page appendix documenting instances in which signatories have faced repercussions, including in the form of criminal and university-level disciplinary investigations and suspension and termination from academic positions.

"The astonishing scope of the prosecutions, disciplinary investigations and campaigns of private harassment directed against the 1,128 signatories of the peace petition is staggering," says the letter, from the association's Committee on Academic Freedom. "We have never before amassed such a record of violations of academic freedom and freedom of expression in such a short period in the history of our activities in defense of academic freedom in the countries of the Middle East."

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