Lecture: Rising authoritarianism in Turkey and repression against the „Academics for Peace“ (BAK)

On Wednesday, June 28th, we invite you to a lecture by Dr. Ergün Özgür about the rising authoritarianism in Turkey and the repression of the Turkish opposition, specifically the signatories of the „Academics-for-Peace“-petition. The lecture will take place at 8 pm in lecture hall 8 of the main building of Bonn university. The lecture will be held in English.

On January 11th 2016, 1128 academics from the group Academics for Peace (BAK- Barış için Akademisyenler) representing 89 universities across Turkey and abroad signed a petition entitled „We will not be part to this crime“ (https://barisicinakademisyenler.net/English) criticizing the continuing war and civilian deaths in the eastern and south-eastern regions of Turkey (the total number of signatories has since reached 2212). As a result, the signatories of this petition have faced constant threats from public officials in Turkey including university presidents, the Council of Higher Education (COHE), and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself. They have been publically accused of being “supporters of terror” and “traitors”. Four of them have been arrested and sent to prison for more than a month.

The authoritarian behaviour of the Turkish government has intensified after the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The coup has been used a pretext to persecute political dissidents and opposition voices, including the Academics for Peace. A state of emergency has been in place since the coup and since then, tens of thousands of teachers academics, journalists, and artists have been dismissed their positions through statutory decree laws (KHK-Kanun kükmünde kararnameler). The total number of post-coup dismissals has reached 150 thousand.

These statutory decree laws stipulate that any dismissed person will receive a lifetime professional ban from working in both public and private sectors as well as in civil society. Scholars are prohibited from using their academic titles and their passports are cancelled. These laws also provide no right for legal recourse effectively rendering their effects permanent.

This lecture will discuss the increasing authoritarianism in Turkey and the dangers this presents to academics, teachers and journalists in the country.
It is organized by Refugees Welcome Bonn e.V. and the department for political education of the General Students‘ Committee (AStA) of the University of Bonn.

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