İstanbul - BIA News Desk 30 July 2019, Tuesday
More than 200 academics have been given prison terms for having signed a declaration titled, "We will not be a party to his crime," in January 2016, criticizing the military operations in the mostly Kurdish-populated eastern and southeastern provinces.
The administrations of Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University, İstanbul Aydın University and Medeniyet University have written a declaration against the Constitutional Court ruling. The declaration was sent to professors via a WhatsApp message that said said the declaration should be "delivered to all professors in the departments," bianet learned.
The declaration was initially announced to be signed by 1,071 academics, resembling the year of the Battle of Manzikert where the Seljuq Turks defeated the Byzantine Empire and went on to conquer most of Anatolia in the following years.
Özgür Özel, an MP for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) questioned the declaration's signing by 1,071 people: "What is 1071? The soul of Malazgirt [Manzikert]. If it is not 1,070 or 1,072, it is clear that this is done upon an order. The verdicts of the Constitutional Court is binding for everyone."
However, three academics said that their names were included in the list of signatories without their approval and we found two duplicates in the list, hence the number dropped to 1,066.
Dr. Şerif Eskin from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation University said on Twitter that he did not sign the declaration: "I am neither aware of such declaration is prepared, nor was asked by anyone if I will sign it."
"My name/sign was used without my approval. It is a shame. The list of signatories was published in countless places. Which one should I get corrected now?" he said, adding that he will use his "legal rights" if the error is not corrected.
Prof. Dr. Ercan Eyüboğlu, another academic whose name was included in the list, saying that he is resentful towards his friends who think he could sign "such a thing."
Dr. Anıl Özgüç was the third academic to say that she did not sign the declaration. "I don't have many followers, please spread this. There is my sign under the declaration that is impossible to agree with its content and the way it was imposed. I expect those responsible to correct his violation."
Looking through the list, we found that the names of Dr. Fatih Bayram and Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Yılmaz were written down twice.
What did they say?
The declaration said the following:
"The Constitutional Court has given a scandalous verdict by regarding the penalization of some academics who propagandize for a terrorist organization under the disguise of the so-called 'peace declaration' as a 'violation of rights'. This verdict has damaged the memories of our martyrs and veterans and hurt the social conscience.
"Blaming a state for fighting terrorism is not regarded as freedom of expression in any country in the world. It also noteworthy that this verdict is given in a period when effective operations against terrorist organizations are conducted.
"We as the academics who have signatures, declare that we are against every kind of institutions, organizations and initiatives that aim to disrupt the fight against terrorism and to blemish our country.
"We believe that the verdicts of the Constitutional Court, which is authorized to make decisions in the name of the nation, should not be against justice and public conscience and denounce those who signed this wrong decision." (HA/VK)