Turkish court arrested three scholars for "making terrorist propaganda" on March 14, following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's statements that terrorism and terrorists should be "redefined" in Turkey to pave the way of widened legal action against "supporters of terrorists".
Erdoğan has referred to academics, journalists and legislators in particular, after more than one thousand academics have signed a petition denouncing military operations in Turkey's southeastern provinces. Erdoğan has harshly criticized these academics and has accused them for making terrorist propaganda. Dozens of scholars across Turkey have faced legal action.
Three academics, Esra Mungan, Muzaffer Kaya and Kıvanç Ersoy were arrested in Istanbul, after they allegedly read the peace petition during a press statement in front of an education trade sector union, Eğitim-Sen's branch.
Lawyer Meriç Eyüpoğlu explained that the decision was "political" and without legal provision.
A total of 464 investigations have been launched by public universities into academics who signed a petition calling for an end to military operations in Turkey's southeast since the controversy erupted in January.