“Regarding academics at public universities there have been 464 investigations, nine firings, five resignations, 27 suspensions, 153 criminal proceedings opened, and 33 detentions. At foundation universities there have been 21 firings, one forced retirement, and 43 administrative investigations [into terrorism-related allegations] since Jan. 11,” said a statement read out at a press conference in Istanbul on March 10 by Esra Mungan, from Boğaziçi University's Psychology Department.
Mungan was accompanied at the meeting by Kıvanç Ersoy from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; Muzaffer Kaya, formerly of Nişantaşı University; and Meral Camcı, formerly of Yeni Yüzyıl University. All four were among the 1,128 academics who signed the petition calling for an end to clashes in the southeastern provinces of Turkey.
The press statement said a “legal and verbal war” had been waged against signatory academics, even including death threats.
The 1,128 academics from 89 different universities - including foreign scholars like Noam Chomsky, David Harvey and Immanuel Wallerstein - signed the petition titled “We won't be a part of this crime,” which called on Ankara to end the “massacre and slaughter” in southeastern Turkey in early January.
Universities and prosecutor's offices across the country subsequently opened probes into a number of the 1,128 local and international academics and intellectuals who fall within the Turkish state's jurisdiction, arguing that the petition went beyond the limits of academic freedoms.