Three academics have been jailed for signing a petition asking to resume negotiations with the Kurdish population. Human Rights Watch: “Yet another attack on freedom of speech in Turkey”.
Turkey, 12 academics arrested for urging peace with the Kurds
12 academics calling on the government to stop violence against the Kurds have been detained by police forces, showing that Turkey fails to guarantee freedom of speech.
They’re guilty of signing a declaration to denounce and ask to stop the violence perpetrated by the Turkish army against the leaders of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – PKK. It’s a declaration urging a peaceful solution to the almost centuries-old conflict in the south-east between Turkey and the PKK, which is considered to be a terrorist organisation by both Ankara’s government and western allies.
For this reason, among over 1,000 academics from all over the world who signed the petition, 12 have been arrested by Turkish police forces on 15 January, according to the news agency Anadolu, cited by Associated Press. It’s a fact that confirms doubts and fears on the country’s real freedom of speech under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Those detained are academics at Kocaeli University, just a few kilometres away from Istanbul, where a blast rocked the Sulthanahmet district.
Whilst nine other lecturers face arrest, the academics could be charged with insulting the Turkish state and making “terrorist propaganda” on behalf of the Kurds. PKK has been fighting for Turkish Kurdistan’s independence for over 30 years and for the creation of a unified Kurdistan that includes the regions under the sovereignty of Iraq, Iran, and Syria. A conflict that has caused thousands of victims.
The declaration – also signed by US linguist Noam Chomsky, criticised during Erdogan’s speech following Istanbul’s attack – has been accused of being biased, because it employs terms close to those used by separatists and fails to condemn rebel violence. Thus, it’s an opinion-related crime that shouldn’t exist in any democracy, especially in a country that aims to join the European Union, which boasts the freedom of speech as one of its founding principles.
From Afghanistan to Europe via Turkey (and Kurdistan). Prominent Italian journalist Ferruccio de Bortoli makes sense of the geopolitical chessboard racked by decades of conflict.
Following Ankara’s terrorist attack, the government find itself at a jucture. On the one hand it can line with its people against Isis, on the other hand it can continue on the path of internal clash with the PKK.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi’s biography is tied with that of her parents and the history of Myanmar (formerly Burma). A story marked by nationalism, Western influence and compromises with the military.
The story of Ang Rita Sherpa, the first person in the world to climb Mount Everest 10 times without supplemental oxygen, who died aged 72.
Photojournalist Livio Senigalliesi tells his story, from the Yugoslav Wars to the Balkan Route. And through two videos, one created with journalist Raffaele Masto.
The Louise Michel is the humanitarian rescue ship saving lives in the Mediterranean. Financed by the artist Banksy, it has found a safe port in Sicily.
We must listen to witnesses on the ground who are seeing abuse, duplicity, and the dereliction of duty firsthand. Our lives depend on their voices being heard. The op-ed by Sean Thomas, International Director of Investigations at Animal Equality.
È drammatico il bilancio dell’attentato subito il 10 ottobre, a tre settimane dalle elezioni, da migliaia di militanti pacifisti curdi nel centro della capitale turca.