Academics sign open letter to support Bogazici students

More than 600 academics around the world have signed an open letter of support for the detained students of Bogazici University after being pointed as targets by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

21 university students at Istanbul’s Bogazici University campus were detained and hundreds of them were harassed by fascist groups and Turkish police, after protesting a group celebrating Turkey’s invasion of Afrin.

The arrests came after Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the anti-war protestors “terrorists, communists and traitors”.

More than 600 academics around the world signed an open letter and condemned Erdogan and Turkish regime. The letter is addressed to New York & D.C. Turkish representatives, Turkish government officials, U.S. representatives, United Nations and EU officials, Boğazici University Rector.

Here is the full text of the letter:

Open Letter of Support for Students Arrested at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey

As members of academic communities around the world, we strongly oppose the recent arrests and harassment of students at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. On March 19, 2018, students demonstrated against a campus event supporting the Turkish soldiers who fought in the invasion of Afrin, Syria, which was organized by the Society for Islamic Research (İslam Araştırmaları Kulübü). The arrests on campus, as well as subsequent police raids of student homes and dormitories, continue a disturbing trend of criminalizing political speech and dissent in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has cynically referred to these students as “terrorists”, vowed to expel them from Boğaziçi University, and to deny them the right to study at any other university. We have heard this kind of verbal attack from Erdoğan before and it was followed by the detention of thousands of academics, journalists, artists, and human rights advocates.

We call upon the Turkish government to immediately release all student detainees.

We call upon the Turkish government to immediately cease all investigations and arrests of students exercising political speech.

We express our solidarity with these students, who continue to courageously express their dissent, despite the great risks they face.

We pledge our support to these students through the public and private means available to us."

Link to the open letter: