January 11, 2016: 1124 academics signed a public statement for Peace in Turkey titled, “We Will Not Be a Party to this Crime,” criticizing the Turkish Government’s gross human rights violations in the Kurdish region and calling for restoration of the peace process through political negotiations. The number of signees increased to 2212; however, the campaign was discontinued within weeks.

Since then, the signees of this peace statement have been harassed and prosecuted by the Turkish Government, university administrations, and the judicial system. Tens of signees have already lost their jobs, hundreds of them have been subject to administrative and judicial investigations, and finally…

March 15, 2016: Three academics were detained on the charges of “propaganda for a terrorist organization.” A fourth one joined them later on.

March 28, 2016: 120 psychology academics in Turkey issued a new public statement criticizing the detention of their colleagues and demanding their release.

Below is the English version of the new public statement. If you agree with its content, please sign the petition linked below.


We, the undersigned academics working in the field of psychology at various universities in Turkey, would like to declare to the public the following:

  • The developments following the announcement of the Academics for Peace statement dated January 11, 2016 reached a new phase when four of the signees were detained on the charges of “propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
  • Among the detained academics, Esra Mungan, an assistant professor and a faculty member at Boğaziçi University in the Psychology Department, is a colleague of ours.
  • Independent of whether we agree with the content of the peace statement, we find the charge, which is incompatible with any legal standards, and the detention order, unacceptable.
  • We repeat that where there is no freedom of expression, there can be no university, no teaching, and no research; in fact, it is impossible to talk about science in any way. Psychology professionals, who strive to improve human life and well-being, condemn all kinds of terror without hesitation. In actuality, restricting the freedom of expression harbors the fear climate that terror aims to create.
  • Esra Mungan and the other three academics, Kıvanç Ersoy, Meral Camcı, and Muzaffer Kaya also being detained, have asserted the right to their freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. As stated by the European Court for Human Rights, “freedom of expression includes not only the ideas that are accepted to be positive and deemed benign but also the ideas that offend, shock, or upset the state or a section of the public. It is an essential requirement of pluralism, tolerance and open mindedness which constitutes a democratic society.”
  • We demand the immediate release of our colleagues so that they can return to their students.

Click to sign the petition.

Click to view the signees.


For more information:

Academics: We will not be a Party to This Crime  (January 11)

3 Academics Referred to Court for Arrest (March 15)

Arrested Academic Esra Mungan: We Stand by Our Word (March 16)

Academics-for-Peace website