In recent days, we have been distressed to learn that Professor Ayse Gül Altinay, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, has been sentenced to 25 months in prison as a consequence of having signed the “Academics for Peace” petition calling for peace in eastern Turkey. She was charged with “willingly and knowingly supporting a terrorist organization as a non-member.” This clearly unfounded charge follows the sentencing of Professor Füsun Üstel on similar, and equally baseless, charges.
We at Clark University condemn the Turkish government’s retaliatory attack on those who signed the “Academics for Peace” statement. We offer our solidarity to Prof. Altinay, Prof. Üstel, and the other Turkish academics – many of whom are our friends, collaborators, and colleagues – who have lost the ability to work, travel, and conduct research as a result of the assault on academic freedom in Turkey. We call on the Turkish government to drop the charges against Asye Gül Altinay, Füsun Üstel, and the other co-signers of the Academics for Peace petition without delay. Furthermore, we call on the Turkish government to respect the freedoms of conscience, opinion and expression of all the signatories of the “Academics for Peace” statement.
Center for Gender, Race and Area Studies