Turkish Academic Supports Probes, Urges for Moderation

Turkish novelist and academic, Orhan Pamuk. (Source: AA Photo)
Turkish novelist and academic, Orhan Pamuk. (Source: AA Photo)

Turkish novelist and academic, Orhan Pamuk. (Source: AA Photo)

ISTANBUL (Hurriyet Daily News) — Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has said that recent investigations and detentions of academics who signed a petition calling for an end to security operations in southeast Turkey did not suit Turkey.

“Twisting their arms, calling them traitors and pledging payback does not suit Turkey and the wealth that Turkey comes from,” Pamuk said during a TV program on CNN Turk on February 2, adding no one would benefit from those incidents.

Pamuk called the petition “faulty” but said its general philosophy was “peace and goodness.”

“I am against those austerities. Let us soften a little bit. There is an austerity coming from the top of the state,” Pamuk said, calling for moderation.

Recently, an academic from Ataturk University in the eastern province of Erzurum who was released with an international ban after detainment, was dismissed from his post on February 3.

Academic Ramazan Kurt, who worked in the department of philosophy and history of philosophy, was detained at his house on January 14 and accused of “terror propaganda,” “incitement to hatred or defaming people” and “defaming the state’s judicial bodies.”

After the court’s decision of rejection of venue, the investigation file was sent to Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Many other academics despite me have abandoned all their academic works and had to struggle with their own problems. I had no idea that I was dismissed on January 11; I have still been teaching at the faculty. I found out that I was dismissed when I couldn’t log in to my university e-mail account and university automation system” Kurt said.

Universities and prosecutor’s offices across Turkey have launched investigations into many of the 1,128 local and international academics and intellectuals who signed the petition titled “We Will not be a Party to this Crime,” arguing that the petition went beyond the limit of academic freedom.

Many national and international organizations have reacted to the detentions and investigations in strong statements.

All those detained in the probe have since been released but they still face investigation and an eventual trial, while some academics were removed from their posts or suspended with administrative decisions.

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