Academics have gathered for Prof. Füsun Üstel whose 15-month prison term for signing the Peace Declaration was approved by the court of appeals.
Academics have gathered for Prof. Füsun Üstel, a signatory of the Peace Declaration whose 15-month prison term was approved by the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice 3rd Penal Chamber.
Speaking at the event, Üstel said, “Many academics wanted to make their voices heard by coming together with the demand for peace. I think this voice was very disturbing for some circles. But I want you to know this: We are not at the point where the word ends, but begins. As citizens, as individuals, we will raise our demand for living in peace.”
Üstel will serve 11 months in prison according to the Execution Regime. She is expected to go to prison this week.
“We are sending Füsun to prison”
Prof. Zeynep Tül Akbal, who was discharged from her job at Bahçeşehir University, read a statement in the name of the Academics for Peace.
“Not only the imprisoned MPs, journalists, academics, doctors who say, ‘War is a public health problem,’ or various thought criminals pay the price for defending peace, defending life. The price we pay is a sign and voice of a much bigger loss.
“Today, standing with those who pay the price for defending peace means pouring water to the fire against the destruction of the system that wages a war against peoples, the woman, the worker, the forest, the animal. Before this fire swallows all of us, we send Füsun to prison for life, for peace.”
“We are witnesses, not defendants”
“We think of 33 other colleagues who received a not deferred prison sentence. We are concerned for them. But we are together with the awareness of uttering the truth.
“We are not defendants, we are witnesses. Words of peace is not a crime but a responsibility. We continue to defend this. We will continue to be here every week, to hear the words of peace, to bring that voice.
Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen) Chair Feray Aytekin Doğan spoke after the statement, saying, “Füsun and all our friends from the Academics for Peace are people who defends universities for the benefit of human, society, and nature. They are writing the history of shame but we are writing the history of protecting peace with a struggle. The Academics for Peace are not alone, we are proud to be their friends.”
Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel from Galatasaray University was sentenced to 1 year 3 months in prison in April 2018. The penalty of Prof. Dr. Üstel was not deferred on the grounds that she has not demanded deferment of the announcement of the verdict and that she has not made “a statement of penitence.”
The 3rd Panel Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice in March upheld the prison sentence for having signed the declaration “We will not be a party to this crime” prepared by Academics for Peace.
About Zübeyde Füsun Üstel
Prof. Dr. Zübeyde Füsun Üstel is an academic at Galatasaray University. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences. She received her Master’s degree from the University of Johns Hopkins in Italy in 1980-1981 and started working as a research assistant at İstanbul University, Faculty of Economics.
She completed her PhD at the Faculty of Political Sciences of Ankara University in 1987. Becoming a lecturer at Galatasaray University, Üstel has published a series of articles in Turkey-based and international journals of social sciences. Her articles have mostly focused on the history of Turkey, nationalism and issues of identity.