Discharged from public service, forced to resign or retire for signing the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime”, Academics for Peace have held statements for the press in six cities and expressed their demand for returning to their duties.

Academics for Peace held simultaneous statements for the press in İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır, Kocaeli and Antalya yesterday (December 2).

Reminding the public that after the Constitutional Court gave a verdict of right violation, 522 academics signatory to the peace declaration have been acquitted, the academics stated the following in brief:

"On January 11, 2016, we, the Academics for Peace, said 'We will not be a party to this crime!' We were subjected to violation of rights, threats, attacks and unfounded accusations. Dismissals started as of January 2016.

"Under the conditions of the State of Emergency declared in July 2016, we were discharged, forced to resign or retire; it did not suffice and we were charged with propagandizing for a terrorist organization.

"Lawsuits were filed against at least 822 Academics for Peace, we spent 300 days, 2,300 hearings in the courthouse.

'We were imprisoned, deprived of our right to a fair trial'

"We were sentenced, we were imprisoned. We were deprived of our freedom of travel, our right to a fair trial, we were deprived of our social security. The parental rights and the right to be elected and even to be elect of our friends discharged by Statutory Decrees were opened to debate.

"Our indemnities were not paid. There were even the ones deprived of their right of succession. Several people discharged by Statutory Decrees, such as Academic for Peace Dr. Mehmet Fatih Tıraş, took their lives.

"We are told to appeal to a commission conceived by the State of Emergency. In fact, this institution does not solve the problems; on the contrary, it is multiplying them. Its functioning and decisions need to be debated. It is delaying justice. There are still 33 thousand files awaiting examination. The files of 406 Academics for Peace and 1,500 public laborers member to the Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions (KESK) are among the ones waiting to be examined by the commission.

"The unlawful verdicts are again reversed by the courts, but these trials continue for years.

'We have still not taken back our usurped rights'

"On July 26, 2019, the Constitutional Court concluded that our demand for peace was to be considered within the scope of freedom of expression and our 522 friends have been acquitted.

"However, there are still Academics for Peace who have not yet been acquitted. Yes, we are now receiving verdicts of acquittal; however, we have not yet taken back our usurped rights. We have neither returned to our universities, nor have we taken back our passports. Our problems necessitate urgent democratic solutions

Our concrete demands are the following:

  • 1. All signatories of the declaration 'We will not be a party to this crime" who were discharged by Statutory Decrees, whose contracts were not renewed or terminated, who were forced to resign or retire must be able to return to their duties in the institutions, from where they were discharged, if they want to do so. Restrictions regarding the university that will be returned to are a violation of human rights in themselves.
  • 2. It must be ensured that the ones who were discharged while they were research associates return to their jobs in a position with job security. The ones currently studying must be appointed to the universities where they study and the ones who have completed their PhD studies must be appointed as doctor lecturers. The Academics for Peace who have not yet been appointed despite fulfilling the conditions for qualifying as associate professors or professors must return to their duties in the positions that they have qualified for.
  • 3. The condition of security and archive investigation in employment is an intervention against 'the right to respect to privacy' guaranteed by the Article 20 of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court verdict dated November 29, 2019 has also indicated that. This must be ended immediately.
  • 4. All attacks targeting the civil rights of academics for peace and public officers discharged by Statutory Decrees must be eliminated. Their passports must be returned to them and all losses of rights must be compensated.
  • 5. The requirements of being a state of law must be fulfilled, the Statutory Decrees of the State of Emergency must be rescinded and the State of Emergency Commission must be abolished. The international agreements that we are a party to and provisions of law must be observed, thereby paving the way for social peace.

"We stand behind our demand for peace. We will multiply our word of peace.

"We will keep on struggling with other public laborers for our usurped rights."