Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

In recent months, Turkish authorities have investigated, harassed, arrested or detained a number of scholars – many belonging to the protest movement Academics for Peace -- for speaking out against the government’s harsh and violent campaign against Turkish civilians in the southern regions of the country, home to a large population of ethnic Kurds. 


More than a thousand educators and human rights activists have signed a petition calling on the government to end the crackdown in the Kurdish regions, pursue peace efforts, and end repression against academics.  The petitioners have become victims of the government’s efforts to silence its critics.  Some have been retaliated against at their workplaces, others denounced as traitors and criminals. 

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Washington, DC

To: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned are shocked and alarmed over retaliation against Turkish scholars in response to their exercise of academic freedom, free expression and free association. They are accused of being criminals and traitors for speaking out against harsh government campaigns against Kurdish civilians, although their protests are clearly protected under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights -- to all of which Turkey is a party.

Your government’s attack on the education community has a profoundly chilling effect on academic freedom, hinders peaceful political change, and undermines democratic society. We strongly urge state and education authorities to comply with internationally recognized standards by respecting academic freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of association.

As worldwide attention for democratic rights in your country grows, taking steps to protect academic freedom and free speech are ever more important in addressing international concerns over human rights in Turkey.