The Academics for Peace Initiative was originally established in November 2012 to issue a declaration during the hunger strikes ongoing at the time by Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey.
Then in January 2016 Academics for Peace shared a declaration entitled ”We will not be a party to this crime” with the public regarding the ongoing war crimes committed by Turkey in the east and southeast provinces of the country. The declaration was initially signed by 2,212 academics. Immediately after the declaration was published, academics were targeted as ”supporters of terrorism.” Universities launched disciplinary proceedings against the academics who signed the declaration.
Several faculty members were suspended and dismissed from their positions on the grounds of ”having a connection with terrorist organisations or structures against the national security of the State.”
European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) requested a defence from Turkey regarding the application of 81 Peace Academics, who were dismissed by Statutory Decree (KHK) for signing the declaration ”We will not be a party to this crime”.
The Court also questions the effectiveness of the State of Emergency Inquiry Commission competent to review the mass dismissals under the emergency decree laws.
A big opportunity for the Court to address and help resolve the fundamental issues these cases raise. @BarisAkademik
— Ayşe Bingöl (@aysebingoldemir) July 14, 2021
Human Rights Defender and Lawyer Ayşe Bingöl shared the ECHR message on her social media account.
”Important communication from the ECHR concerning the dismissal of 81 academics, who signed the ‘Peace Petition’, under the state of emergency. The Court asks Turkey an important set of questions. The Court also questions the effectiveness of the State of Emergency Inquiry Commission and if competent to review the mass dismissals under the emergency decree laws.”
Bingöl stated that the ECHR openly asked the government about the reason for the allegations and evidence to sustain indictments and convictions in cases related to supporting terrorism and dismissing their university positions, pointed to alleged violations of the right, freedom of expression and association.
Bingöl added “The decision of the ECHR applies to thousands of people who were dismissed from their jobs with the State of Emergency decrees.”
The detailed information on the targeting of 2,449 academics who signed the declaration, the curfews that took place in 2015 and 2016, and the State of Emergency (OHAL) declared after the 15 July Coup Attempt was also included within the file published by the ECHR .