Friday, 15 January 2016

Turkish Academics under attack from Erdogan's regime

Flag of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).svg

Over a thousand Turkish academics from 89 Universities have signed a petition demanding that the Turkish government end it's attacks on the Kurdish people and resume peace negotiations with the PKK. The Kurdish Question  published an excerpt from the petition:

"As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!

The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighbourhoods 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 abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state 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 be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.

We demand the government prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that will 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".

Inevitably the academics have come under attack from the Islamist regime run by Erdogan and his cronies prompting some 500 journalists to issue a statement which reads in part:

"We are with the academics who declared that they 'will not be a party to this crime' and who wanted negotiations to resume for a peaceful solution. Academics, the people that educate the future of a country, are being targeted because they called for peace, this is a danger to human rights, freedom of thought and speech. As journalists who also want peace, we are declaring that we are with the academics who said that they 'we will not be a party to this crime', and state that we want to report and make news in an environment of peace and not war."

Turkey must cease attacking the Kurds.

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